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MARCH 2003 

ISSUE #508 

USA S3. 95 

CANADA $4.95 

I ill Mil 1 1 ml ii Mi II r ll ill 

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 It 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 i 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 i I i 1 1 1 1 1 J I • 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 

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MARCH 2003 
ISSUE #508 

El Supremo & Founder 
Wayne Green W2NSD/1 

Associate Publisher 

F. I. Manor 

Executive Editor 
Jack Burnett 

Managing Editor 

Joyce Sawtelle 

Radio Today 


Technical Editor 
Larry Antonuk WB9RRT 


Contributing Culprits 

MikeBryce WB8VGE 
Jim Gray II 
Jack Heller KB7NO 
Chuck Houghton WB6fGP 
Andy MacAilister W5ACM 
Joe Moell K0OV 
Steve Nowak KE8YN/0 
Dr. RickOlsenNONR 

Advertising Sales 
Evelyn Garrison WS7A 

21704 S.E. 35th St. 
Jssaquah WA 98029 
425-557-961 1 


Frances Hyvarinen 

Data Entry & Other Stuff 

Norman Marion 








Business Office 

Editorial - Advertising - Circulation 40 

Feedback - Product Reviews 

73 Amateur Radio Today Magazine 

70 Hancock Rd. 

Peterborough NH 03458-1107 



Build Your DREAM Antenna — AC3L 

As in "Dual-suspension, Removable, Easy-to-build, 
Amateur-radio, Multiple-band, 1 0-meter mobile 
antenna system. 

All Keyed Up — K8ZOA 

Over this neat project. 

Junkbox Telephone Recording Adapter — KC5MFY 

Caught on tape, 

Meter Made — N2DCH 

Here's how to recycle those VU meters in old stereos. 

Autobiography of Everyham — Part 1 — WB9YBM 

How many times do you see yourself in this story? 

All About Electronics Frustration — W6WTU 

Or, What to do when neighborly theory meets 
neighborly reality 

Travels with Henry k — Part 1 — SM0JHF 

Lithuania: "elementary essence of our hobby" 

Front and Center — AA2JZ 

How to use your computer to make personalized 
front panels. 


49 Ad Index 

64 Barter n Buy 

44 Calendar Events 

53 The Digital Port — KB7NO 

50 Homing In — K0OV 
8 Letters 

4 Never Say Die — W2NSD/1 

48 New Products 

45 On the Go ■— KE8YN/7 
60 Propagation — Gray 

46 QRP — WB8VGE 
1 QRX 

63 Radio Bookshop 


design73@aol .com 

Web Page 

w w w. w ay n e green . c om 

Reprints: $3 per article 
Back issues: $5 each 

Printed in the USA 


Manuscripts: Contributions for 

possible publication are most 
welcome. We'll do the best we can to 
return anything you request, but we 
assume no responsibility for loss 
or damage. Payment for submitted 
articles will be made after publication. 
Please submit both a disk and a 
hard copy of your article [IBM (ok) 
or Mac (preferred) formats], carefully 
checked drawings and schematics, 
and the clearest, best focused and 
lighted photos you can manage. Jl How 
to write for 73" guidelines are available 
on request. US cittzens, please 
include your Social Security number 
with submitted manuscripts so we can 
submit it to you know who. 

Why Computers Crash 

If a packet hits a pocket on a socket on a port, 
And the bus is interrupted at a very last resort, 
And the access of the memory makes your floppy 
disk abort, 
Then the socket packet pocket has an error to report. 

ff your cursor finds a menu item followed by a dash, 

And the doubfe-clicking icon puts your window in 
the trash, 

And your data rs corrupted 'cause the index doesn't 

Then your situation's hopeless and your system's 
gonna crash! 

If the labeJ on the cable on the table at your house, 

Continued on page 6 

72 Amateur Radio Today (ISSN 1052-2522) is published monthly cy 73 Magazine, 70 Hancock Rd.. 
Peterborough NH 03458-1107. The entire contents ©2003 by 73 Magazine. No part of this publicatfon may be 
reproduced without written permission of the publisher, which is not all that difficult to get. The subscription 
rate is: one year $24.97, two years $44.97; Canada: one year $34.21 , two years $57.75, Including postage and 
7% GST Foreign postage: $19 surface, $42 airmail additional per year, payable in US funds on a US bank. 
Second class postage is paid at Peterborough, NH, and at additional mailing offices. Canadian second ciass 
mail registration #178101. Canadian GST registration #125393314. Microfilm edition: University Microfilm, Ann 
Arbor Ml 48106, POSTMASTER: Send address changes to 73 Amateur Radio Today, 70 Hancock Rd., 
Peterborough NH 03458-1107. 73 Amateur Radio Today is owned by Shabromat Way Ltd. of Hancock NH. 

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Wayne Green W2NSD/1 

X Again 

Have you got your QRP 
gear in good shape yet? How 
about emergency power for 
it? Well, hold tiehL.,1 mav 
have more news on Planet X 
next month. 

Tve been talking with the 
experts ... trying to find out 
who's real and who's bogus 
when it comes to Planet X. 
Like Nancy Lieder [www. I, who's been on 
the talk shows giving us a 
May 15th date for a pole 
shift. Now Fm hearing that 
she may just be a shill for 
NASA and the sneaky plan 
is for May 15th to go by 
with nothing happening... thus 
blowing up all the Planet X 
stuff as baloney. Whew! Dam, 
just when I thought the world 
as we know it was about to 

Could Nostradamus, Seal- 
lion and the other doomsayers 
have tt wrong? 

Nancy's story, that she got 
her info about Planet X psy- 
chically from the Zeta Reticularis 
does not inspire my confi- 
dence. BuL on the other hand, 
I see the events predicted by 
Mark Hazel wood in Biindsided 
And Jim McCaiiney in Pkmet-X 
happening right on schedule. 
Like our having weird weather. 
Like more volcanoes and 
earthquakes than in recorded 
history. Like both Mars and 
Pluto heating up. Like the 
weirdest sun spots in history. 
Hey, something is going on. 

You can join the fun via 
[], [www.], and 

You can get copies of 
the two books from Radio 

Bookshop, $15 each, items 
#94 (Hazelwood) and #95 
(McCanney), and scare your- 
self into getting a good QRP 
rig working. 


If you are reading this he- 
fore we attack Iraq, fine. No- 
body has asked, but naturally 
I have some advice for our 
military commanders. My ad- 
vice? Drop everything and 
read Black Hawk Down or 
watch the movie. Wise up and 
don't get our troops involved 
with fighting in the cities. 

Learn from the mess you got 
into in Somalia. 

The alternative? Go back a 
few hundred years when 
castles were being attacked. 
The dumb (military) way was 
to throw big stones with cata- 
pults, use battering rams, lad- 
ders to get over the walls, and 
so on. This killed a lot of the 
invading army; w^hieh prob- 
ably wasn't a bad thing. The 
more economical way was to 
surround the castle and wait 
for the people inside to run 
out of food. 

Then there's the Genghis 
Khan approach, When he and 
his horde started on their 
campaign they came to the 
first village on the road and 
gave them an ultimatum: sur- 
render or be killed. The vil- 
lage fought back. And lost. 
The invaders proceeded to 
level the village totally, kill- 
ing every living thing in it. 
Men, women, children, and 
even the chickens. 

From then on they never had 
another problem with villages 
and towns. 

No, I'm not suggesting we 

obliterate an Iraqi village as a 
demo. When our armies come 
to a city I suggest thev circle 
it and wait for the food to run 
out. It won't take long before 
the inhabitants get hungry 
and will begin to be inter- 
ested in an alternative to 
street by street fighting. Let's 
see videos of long lines of 
Iraqis surrendering their guns 
and then sitting around hav- 
ing their first good meal in 
weeks with our army as hosts, 
No ; let's not be mean and 
serve them pork pies. 

The Iraqis obviously learned 
from our super botched Soma- 
lia. If you watched the seg- 
ment on "50 Minutes" you 
saw men, women and chil- 
dren all being given guns and 
ammunition in Baghdad so 
that every one of 'em could 
take out as many Americans 
as they could. And I'll bet 
this is happening in every 
city, town and village in the 

But, what about a few die- 
hard snipers who stay in the 
village, waiting for our soldiers 
to come into the evacuated 
town? Hmm, we could be 
sure the villagers are kept up- 
wind and fumigate the place 
with poison gas. Or we could, 
at the first shot, level the 
town a la Khan, and move on, 
leaving the villagers to start 

But no one asked. 

Silver Canteens 

During WWI the Ger- 
man soldiers used silver 
canteens. This allowed 
them to drink the local wa- 
ter as they moved around 
without getting dysentery, 

an illness that debilitated 
many of the Allied troops. 

The ability of silver to kill 
germs was known long be- 
fore doctors stopped denying 
that there was such a thing as 
germs. A silver dollar was put 
into milk to keep it from 
spoiling. Of course, that was 
back when silver dollars were 
actually made of silver. And 
guess what the wealthier 
people ate with? Silverware. 
The hoi polio i ate with their 
hands ... and got sick. 

Pve been doing a very 
brisk business selling silver 
colloid kits. They're item #82 
from Radio Bookshop, and 
consist of an AC power sup- 
ply, two #10 pure silver wires, 
instructions, a reprint of an 
article on making silver col- 
loid, and priority mail shipping 
...all for $37. 

If any of this bioterrorism 
materializes, this stuff could 

Meanwhile, I've been hear- 
ing from a lot of people who 
have been downing a few 
teaspoons of 10 ppm every 
day without turning gray, and 
reporting no more colds or 


I don't care where anyone 
or their parent (or grandpar- 
ents) came from ... they 
came to American because it 
offered a better life than their 
home country did. What I 
wish to hell all of 'em would 
do is accept our language, 
speak it, accept our culture . . . 
and live it 

I don't want to hear any 

Continued on page 8 

4 73 Amateur Radio Today • March 2003 

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Emergency Operations Center 


QRK . . . 

continued from page 1 

Says the network is connected to the button 
on your mouse, 

But your packets want to tunnel to another 

That's repeatedly rejected by the printer down 
the hall, 

And your screen is all distorted by the side 
effects of gauss, 

So your icons in the window are as wavy as a 

Then you may as well reboot and go out with 
a bang, 

'Cause sure as I'm a poet, the sucker 1 s gonna 

Thus when the copy of your floppy's getting 
sloppy in the disk, 

And the macro code instructions cause unnec- 
essary risk, 

Then you'll have to flash the memory and youll 
want to RAM your ROM. ' 

Then quickly turn off the computer — and be 
sure to tell your mom! 

Thanks to unknown author, from the Internet, 
Dec. 2002. 

Down Under Update 

The Wireless Institute of Australia has recently 
updated its Web site. All those who wish to ap- 
ply for Wireless Institute of Australia awards 
certificates should immedfately check out their 
new Web site data at [], and 
use the following address: Malcolm K. Johnson 
VK6LC. Wireless institute of Australia, Federal 
Awards Manager, RO. Box 196, Cannington 
6987, Western Australia, Australia; [awards© 

Thanks to VK6LC. 

Element Two Technician 
Question Pool Revised 

The FCC question pool for Element 2 f the 
Technician written exam, has been revised. The 
new 51 t-item pool will take effect on July 1 , 2003. 

The older pool contains 385 items. The new 
question pool can be viewed via [ 

Thanks to Balanced Modulator, Jan -Feb, 2003, 

Here's Lookin' at the 

In more news from Venus, we've learned that 
our source for last month's item on the canals 
had ITS source wrong, so we hasten to credit 
Bob Gonsettand his CGC Communicatorfor that 

6 73 Amateur Radio Today ■ March 2003 

Dog Days of Winter 

An inter-species communications apparatus— 
as in a dog-to-person translator — was one of 
the winners of the 2002 Ig Noble awards. 

What are the Ig Noble awards, you ask? They 
are a spoof of the famed Nobel Awards ceremony 
and are given annually at Harvard University to 
recognize achievements that cannot or should 
not ever be reproduced. 

Winners are selected by a secret committee 
from thousands of nominations. Actual Nobel lau- 
reates present the Ig Nobles at a ceremony 
where the winners are hailed with cheers and a 
flurry of paper airplanes. And if a recipient feels 
insulted or slighted by the award, it Is withdrawn. 

For 2002, those victorious included the people 
behind the definitive study on belly-button lint, 
and an inquiry into what arouses ostriches. But 
by far the dog-to-person translator was one of 
the most popular ft works by listening to the tone 
of a dog's bark, converting that data into an 
interpretation of the dog's mood. 

The device is already on the market in Japan. 
An English language version called Bow-Wow- 
Linguai — nope, we are not kidding — Bow- 
Wow-Lingual — may be on the market here in 
the USA in about a year. And we thought that 
you'd want to know. 

For more about the Ig Noble awards, see 

Thanks to Science Frontier via Newsline, Bill 
Pasternak, editor, with special mention to his dog< 

Beam Me Up 

As incredible as it may seem, a Star Trek-like 
transporter may be a step closer to reality. This, 
after physicists in Denmark make two samples 
of trillions of atoms interact at some distance. 

The experiment involved a science called 
quantum entanglement. This is a mysterious 
theory of a controlled spiraling of two or more 
particles without any physical contact. Scientists 
say that these entangled states are needed for 
quantum computing and for teleportation. 

Before the team at the University of Aarhus 
made its breakthrough, other scientists had suc- 
cessfully developed entangled states of a few 
atoms, But the scientists in Denmark have now 
done it with very large numbers. 

At the moment, nobody is about to teleport 
anyone, anywhere. But the research, which was 
reported in the science magazine Nature, makes 
the idea of instantly transporting an object from 
one place to another less far-fetched, 

If all goes well, maybe the term "Beam me up, 
Scotty" will be reality in our great, great, great 
grandchildren's lifetime. The only question is 
whether a 5 word-per-minule Code test will still 
be required to "communicate" using that rather 
exotic mode. 

Thanks to Future Technology via Newsline, 
Bill Pasternak WA6ITF, editor. 

Zero Gravity 

When NASA first started sending up astro- 
nauts, they quickly discovered that ballpoint pens 
would not work in zero gravity. To combat this 
probiem, NASA scientists spent a decade and 
$12 billion developing a pen that writes in zero 
gravity, upside down, underwater, on almost any 
surface, including glass, and at temperatures 
ranging from below freezing to over 300 degrees C, 

The Russians used a pencil. 

Thanks to The Tuned Circuit, November 2002. 

Dumb Newspaper 

* Include Your Children When Baking Cookies 

* Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash r Experts 

* Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jay- 

* Drunks Get Nine Months in Violin Case 

* Iraqi Head Seeks Arms 

* Is There a Ring of Debris Around Uranus? 

* Prostitutes Appeal to Pope 

* Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over 

* British Left Waffles on Falkland Islands 

* Teacher Strikes Idle Kids 

* Clinton Wins Budget; More Lies Ahead 

■ Plane Too Close to Ground, Crash Probe Told 

* Miners Refuse to Work After Death 

* Juveniie Court to Try Shooting Defendant 

* Stolen Painting Found by Tree 

* Two Sisters Reunited After 18 Years in 
Checkout Counter 

* War Dims Hope for Peace 

* If Strike Isn't Settled Quickly, it May Last a 

* Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide 

* Man Struck by Lightning Faces Battery 

* New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test 

* Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Space 

* Kids Make Nutritious Snacks 

* Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half 

* Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds 

Thanks to the "Giggle Hertz" section of Radio 

Flyer, the UBETARC newsletter, April 2002. 

Hot Air 

Well, another would-be tallest man-made 
structure could soon be towering over the 
Australian outback. This, as part of a plan to 
capitalize on the global push for greater use of 
renewable energy. 

By 2006, the Australian power company 
EnviroMission Ltd. hopes to build a 3,300-foot- 
high solar tower in southwest New South Wales 
state. The 200 megawatt solar generating sta- 
tion will cost neariy $563 million dollars to build 
and will be the width of a football field. 

The technology behind its operation is very 
simple. The sun heats air under the tower's glass 
roof. As the hot air rises, a powerful upckaft is 
also created by the tower that allows air to be 
continually sucked through 32 turbines, which 
spin to generate power 

EnviroMission hopes to begin construction on 
the solar tower before the end of the year. It says 
that it plans on generating enough electricity to 
supply 200,000 homes around the beginning of 

Currently, the world's tallest free-standing 
structure is the Canadian National Tower in 
Toronto. It's about 1,650 feet high. 

Thanks to W8HDU, via Newsline. Bill 
Pasternak WA61TE editor 

W60BB Retires 

Art Bell W60BB bid a final farewell to his 
"Coast-to-Coast A.M." radio show as 2002 gave 
way to 2003. Over the 1 5 years he hosted the 
show, Bell took it to the very top of the ratings 

peak. It was on over 450 radio stations in North 
America and heard worldwide over the Internet, 
and had an audience estimated in the tens of 

Bell had departed the show once before due 
to a family situation that needed his full time and 
attention. The show did not do weff under the 
substitute hosts. Bell returned the following year 
and rebuilt the program to its powerhouse posi- 
tion on the Premiere Radio Network. Often, after 
the program, Bell could be found on 75 meters 
chatting with his friends. 

In saying good-bye to his listeners, W60BB 
explained that this is not the end of his career in 
radio. Actually, it's a new beginning. 

Bell says that he and his wife have made one 
of their dreams come true. They built their own 
radio station — KNYE — located in Pahrump, 
Nevada — and it's now on the air. Bell says that 
bu if ding KNYE into the station he wants it to be- 
come will be the oext challenge in Ns broadcasting 

Meantime, you can still hear — and talk to — 
Art Bell, but only if your signal can be heard in 
Pahrump, Nevada. Just listen on or near 3,840 
MHz for the callsign W60BB, If you hear Art, 
please say hello, and you might add, Thanks 
for the ride,.." 

Thanks to Newsline, Bill Pasternak WA6ITF, 

Words That Don't Exist, 
But Should 

AQUADEXTROUS (ak wa DEKS trus), adj. 
Possessing the ability to turn the bathtub tap on 
and off with your toes. 

shun), n. The act, when vacuuming, of running 
over a string or a piece of lint at least a dozen 
times, reaching over and picking it up, examin- 
ing it, then putting it back down to give the 
vacuum one more chance. 

DISCONFECT (dis Icon FEKT), v. To sterilize 
the piece of confection {lollipop) you dropped on 
the floor by blowing on lt r assuming this will some- 
how "remove' all the germs. 

ELBONICS (el BON iks) t n. The actions of two 
people maneuvering for one armrest in a movie 

FRUST (trust), n. Hie small line of debris that 
refuses to be swept onto the dust pan and keeps 
backing a person across the mom until he finally 
decides to give up and sweep it under the rug. 

LAY shun), n> Manhandling the "open here" spout 
on a milk container so badly that one has to re- 
sort to the "illegal" side. 

Continued on page 61 

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73 Amateur Radio Today * March 2003 7 


From the Ham Shack 

Herman KN5GRK. I read "Never Sav 
Die" in the November issue of 73 Amateur 
Radio Today. Your column brings out how 
important a mobile emergency communi- 
cations vehicle will be in time of a disaster 
such as the ones you mention in this article. 
I don't subscribe to 13 but was referred to 
your article by a fellow ham who realized it 
had a bearing on our club project. 

Our club purchased a 1987 Chevrolet step 
van, and we are currently getting it ready to 
make a "mobi )e operations center" — some 
of the reasons we feel we need this van 
are mentioned in your article. We are in 
the process of obtaining letters of recom- 
mendation from local emergency agencies, 
police, sheriff fire, mayors, school board, 
etc., in order to obtain a federal grant from 
the FDA to purchase the equipment to be 
used in this project. 

I would also like to have your permis- 
sion to use this article or portions of your 
article in our next newslelier and as a refer- 
ence to some of these agencies to get. our 
point across. Credit will be given to you and 
73 magazine. 

I see that you would like to have a report 
and pictures of these emergency mobile 
communications vehicles. I have added a 
photo gallery on our van project with a link 
to "Scope of Project" that explains what we 
plan to do with our van. We have a long 
road to travel, but I think the waiting and 
work will pay off, plus provide a lot of fun 
and education in amateur radio for our club. 

If you would like to see our pictures, just 
go to: [http://www.w5dd I, org/clubsite/ 

Permission granted, for this worthy 

project, OM ... hut please be sure to include 
subscription information in the reprints, in 
case anybody who has been too cheap to 
subscribe thus far feels so inclined ... if you 
know what we mean. Good luck, and keep 
up the good work! — ed. 

Tracy Markham N4LGH. 1 just want to 
say thank you, heartily, diank you, for the 
QRX article on Dollar Power in the Jan 
2003 issue. 

T understand a lot of the symbolism that 
Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson and 
their "gang ;; built into our insignias and 
other marks. But T never looked at the dol- 
lar, and the symbols on it, like I have since 
I read thai article. 

Thank you for finding it — I know you' re 
not sure of the author, and perhaps it's best 
that way really. Again, thank you ,,. 

Clinton Peebles VE7KNL. It's a sad 
fact, but there are dishonest hams out there. 
At least they call themselves amateur radio 
operators, but in my opinion they are 
nowhere close. I have recently had the 
unfortunate opportunity to deal with one. I 
purchased a Kenwood TMD-700A radio, se- 
rial number 30100018, from K.A. in 
Edmonton. It's now been 6 months and I 
still haven't seen the radio, nor do T expect 
to. Like a fool, I trusted him and sent him a 
money order. Never do this! C.O.D. charges 
are small compared to what you will lose. I 
know of at least one other ham who was 
also taken in by this thief for the same radio. 
Don't count on help from the R.CMP, — 
you won't get it. 

There is a group on [www.yahoogroups. 
com] called BADHAM. If you are planning 
on a private purchase, it's a good idea to 
use this group* If you've been ripped off, 
please list the culprit there so others don't 
get ripped off by the same crook. 

Ray J. Howes G40WY, Wow, "440 
home-brewed projects" ("Letters," January 
2003). KC6WZK, I salute you! This man 
puts me to shame — and how many others, 
too, T wonder? And what's even better, he's 
a QRPeras well! 

Yes, as Dain rightly implies, home-brew- 
ing ham equipment (not kits), especially 
transceivers, is now unfortunately a minor- 
ity interest amongst hams. No doubt this 
is due in part to many things — commer- 
cialization of our hobby and a lack of a 
willingness to just get on and do it, to name 
just two. 

Anyhow, I'm sure that anyone reading 
KC6WZK's letter (and seeing his station 
photograph) can't fail to be fired up to try 
to emulate, if only in part, this particular 
ham's obvious love of rolling your own! 
Here's to many more constructive years of 
home-brewing and QRPing, Dain! 

Edwin Olsen W4GES, My most recent 
lipid panel results are beautiful, and this 
without Liptor or Zocor, or any other cho- 
lesterol-lowering drugs. 1 attribute this to 
following your dietary guidelines. Each of 
these drugs had had a very adverse effect 
on my liver. In the case of Zocor, it took 
months before my liver enzymes went back 
to normal. Thank you for your pioneering 
efforts in promoting good health. 


continued from page 4 

more crap about Irish-Americans, Ger- 
man- A meri cans, A frican- Ameri can s , 
Italian-Americans, and so on. Look, 
guys, you're here, and if you plan to 
stay get rid of that crummy hyphen and 
start thinking of yourselves as Ameri- 
cans. Accept and live our culture. 
Please don't continue to try to keep the 
"old country" culture alive here. You 
left that for something better. 

Yes, a bunch of Americans have 
different skin coiors. Get over it. 

It's about damned time for blacks 
to forget Africa. Pit be glad to start 

8 73 Amateur Radio Today * March 2003 

taking up a collection to pay blacks their 
fare to any country in Africa they'd like 
u> move to and give them a stake to get 
them started there. 

It won't take much of a collection 
because I doubt I'll have anv takers, 
Tve been to a bunch of African coun- 
tries (10 so far) and there isn't one Fd 
want to live in. No American black 
would either, if they'd ever visited any 
of 'em. 

Let's stop this destructive nonsense 
of school classes for non-American- 
speaking children. Government forms 
should be in American, and not in any 
other languages, Let's even get rid of 
American newspapers published in 

foreign languages. America, love it or, 
dammit, leave it! 

Foreigners coming here should accept 
our American heritage and forget the 
one they left behind. Our heritage is a 
combo of English, Scotch, Irish, Ital- 
ian, German, Russian, Jewish, Ameri- 
can Indian, and so on- No, I have no 
problem with Chinese, German, and so 
on restaurants. The more foreign food 
restaurants, the belter. Well that's as 
long as you insist on poisoning your 
body with cooked food and shortening 
your life. Bon appetite. Bon obesity, 
diabetes, and heart attacks. 

Continued on page 42 



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Build Your DREAM Antenna 

As in "Dual-suspension, Removable, Easy-to-build, Amateur-radio, Multiple-band, 

10-meter mobile antenna system. 


Take a couple of hours, mix in a little creativity, and you can change thai boring 
commute to work every day into hours of glowing reports and solid contacts. 

[his article describes an effec- 
tive, efficient, broadband, IO- 
meter DX mobile antenna. 
Now, don't let poor past experiences 
with mobile signals put you off — 
you* II be surprised at the difference a 
full-size quarter wave antenna makes, 
especially if you're used to dealing 
with magnetic-mount antennas. The 
best mobile signal reports I've ever re- 
ceived were from 102-inch steel whips 
that were cut down to the 10- meter 

Let's quickly review some of the 
problems with using a short antenna. 
You already know they're inefficient 
because of their size and use of coils, 
not to mention the narrow SWR band- 
widths. And hey, get just a little bit of 
dirt or grit under the magnet and you 
get this interesting circle of annoying 
scratch marks right on the top of your 
can On the other hand, quarter wave 
antennas are efficient and broadbanded. 
and this design does not cause an\ 
damage to the car! Plus, since we'll be 
using a standard antenna mount, if you 
ever get tired of 10 meters (can't hap- 
pen, by the way!), you can just swap 
the whip for one o[ the many other 
antennas on the market. 
10 73 Amateur Radio Today • March 2003 

Antenna lowered 
position with excess 
string tied under the 
roof racks 

Roof racks 

Fig. L Dual suspension. 

Even with all these reasons to do this project, that doesn't 
mean there aren't any drawbacks to having an 8- foot monster 
antenna tacked onto the back of your vehicle. One problem 
to watch out for is the low-hanging trees in the neighborhood, 
T ve whacked many a branch, so be on the lookout. And what 
about the fast food drive-through or even garages? Height 
limits are a problem there as well DonH worry, My patented 
(yeah, right) design will solve these problems for you. To 
see how, let's start by taking a look at the promise of the 
article title. 

Dual-suspension (Fig. 1) 

Okay, so the dual suspension is just two pieces of 
string, but this very simple system is extremely effective. 
Tfs great for times when you are entering places with low 
overhead clearances. It solves these problems by allow- 
ing you to bend the top of the whip down to the roof of 
the can If you are lucky enough to have a roof rack avail- 
able (Fig, 1), one end can be tied near the top of the an- 
tenna with the other tied off to the roof rack nearest the 
front of the vehicle. Plus, if the roof rack is adjustable 
(with the ability to slide back and forth), there will prob- 
ably be some sort of latch that opens. Just open ihe latch, 
pull the top string and antenna down toward the car, and 
wrap the excess line under it. And when you are ready to 
put il back up, all you have to do is just release the latch. 
If there is just no place to tie the top part down, you 
might want to try another setup I've used (Photo A) to at 
least control the sway of the antenna. 


My goal was to put together an antenna system that does 
no damage to the vehicle at all That way, when it comes 
time to buy a new vehicle, you don't have to just leave the 
mount on the old car and buy all new parts for your next car. 
It's non-invasive since no drilling (at least externally visible 
drilling) is needed, That way you don't have to worry about 
any loss in the price of the car. Even the cable and ground 
wires can be removed easily. 


Besides the antenna whip and coax, there is only one 
other key component to this system. That is the antenna 
mount itself. It's actually a mirror mount (see the parts 
list), and it installs on the end of the 1/4" tubing (Photo 
B) that is used as the mounting support. Although it's 
easy to build (it generally just takes a few U-bolts and 
clamps), remember that 1 mentioned you'll need a little 
creativity? I wish I could just give one method of con- 
necting up the antenna that would work for all cases, but 
if you take a quick look underneath various vehicles, 
you'll see that each is different and youTl need to come 
up with some possibilities for your particular instance. 
See the section on putting it all together later in the ar- 
ticle for information and some ideas to get you started on 

Photo A. Stabilizer tie-up. 


Well ... No dah!! Or should that be u No dif ? 


This one may surprise you. A quarter wave antenna is 
very broadbanded. In fact, after you get the entire system 
working perfecdy on 10 meters, switch down to the 12- meter 
band and try a signal there. You can do this either through a 


Photo B. 1/4" tubing supporting the mirror mount, 

73 Amateur Radio Today • March 2003 11 


/U — \ 

Existing vehicle's 
vertical plate 


U -Bolt Nut 

Fig. 2. Bolt and clump assembly. 

mobile antenna matcher or do what I 
do and just run it direct. If your radio 
has built in SWR protection, it will cut 
back the power to a safe level and 
you'll end up running 12 meters at low 

• ~ : .'v-.--' 

HB is 


"^■; I\ 



1 1 


1 v 

: : '-'i 

Photo G Slip the cable into the trunk 
through the water seal if there are no water 
holes that you can use. 

12 73 Amateur Radio Today • March 2003 

Tubing for the mirror 
mount inserts here. 

power. Sure it's reduced power, but 
bey, QRP can be a lot of fun. Plus, 
the band isn't crowded so it doesn't 
take much to gel a signal through. 
The antenna is pretty efficient at 
least down to 12 meters. Beyond 
that, you'll spend a lot of time yell- 
ing and screaming before making any 

Putting it all together 

Start the whole process by crawling 
under the back of the vehicle to decide 
on a mounting design to connect the 
two feet or so of the 1/4" tubing to the 
underside of the car. The length of the 
tubing will depend on just how far 
back under the ear you need to go in 
order to find a place to attach it. Trying 
to figure out how to mount the tubing 
is going to be the hardest part of this 
project. You HI need to find at least two 
support spots. One will just support 
the weight of the mount and antenna; 
the second keeps the whole thing from 
swaying back and forth, Search for 
holes under the car that can be used as 
an attachment point for the U-bolts. 
Look for potential spots in the frame 

up above where the tubing will be po- 
sitioned or perhaps even horizontal to 
the tubing. Another option is to look 
for any existing bolts in the frame that 
may be extending out enough to be 
useful. If you find one long enough 
you can just lay the U-bolt over it and 
use that as the support. The best thing 
to do though is to draw a quick picture 
of what you see under there and then 
take a trip to the hardware stores, auto 
parts stores, and even plumbing supply 
stores to come up with some ideas. 
Some things that might work for you are 
toggle bolts, turnbuckles, and Milford 

I did come up with a way (Fig, 2) of 
combining a few U-bolt and clamp 
parts together that you* 11 likely be able 
to use one way or another, so 111 take 
the time to describe it here. 

In my case, my van happened to be a 
1993 voyager. It had a vertical plate 
with some holes already drilled through 
it. Actually, one hole is all you need, 
that is, if it is near the bottom of the 
plate. This is because you can use the 
free space below the plate to act as the 
second hole. You'll end up running one 
of the U-bolt rods through the existing 
hole and the other bolt will hang below 
the plate. 

You're going to need 3 sets of the U- 
bolts with clamps to do this, plus one 
extra set of nuts. Start with one of the 
U-bolts and screw on the two nuts. 
Take them all the way to the end of the 
threads nearest the U. This will pro- 
vide a stopping point for the 1 si clamp. 
Next, place the 1 st clamp on with the 
"teeth*' end going in first. It will stop at 
the nuts you' ve just put on. This makes 
the flat end available as a stopping 
point against the metal plate. Run the 
U-bolt though the hole(s) in the plate 
of the vehicle and the whole thing will 
stop against the plate, 

Next, we need another clamp to 
brace against the other side of the car's 
plate. Push it on with the fiat side first 
this time, to butt up against the plate. 
Now screw on another set of nuts and 
tighten them so the whole thing 
doesn't move at all We're almost done 

Next, put on a third clamp and slide 
it in toward the last one. This time 
''teeth' 1 first. This provides us with a 

space now between the two sets of 
teeth to grab the antenna mount tubing. 
Don't press it all the way in t because 
you'll do that once the tubing is ready 
to be connected up. Again put on two 
nuts. This will hold the outside clamp 
in place against the tubing when you 
are ready to attach it. And last, put on a 
final set of nuts. This last set will help 
keep the outside two from unscrewing 
over time due to the vibrations of the 

Okay, now take the remaining U- 
bolts into your back yard. Drive a peg 
into the ground and start practicing 
horseshoe throwing — because they 
are of no use to the rest of this project! 

Once you've got a mounting system 
plan ready, the hard part is out of the 
way. Before you actually mount the 
tubing to the vehicle, first take the tub- 
ing t and attach the mirror mount 
(Photo B), Thai way you can gauge 
when there will be enough room for 
the antenna to clear the back of the car. 
At this time you can also gel the whole 
thing aligned correctly too, so the an- 
tenna is going to be vertical and not off 
on some angle. Be sure to place some 
tube pipe insulation around the an- 
tenna mount tubing to keep it from 
rubbing up against the bottom of the 
bumper. We don't want to do any dam- 
age there either. Besides, I think it 
looks cool. Tighten everything up and 
then screw in the K)2-inch whip. Now 
you're ready to run the cable. 


SteeE whip 

102 Inch. RadhD Shack #21-903 

U-bott with damp 

3 or 4 sets RS*M5-B26 

RG-58 cable 

50 Ohm. 20 ft. 

Mirror and luggage 
rack mount 

RS #21-337 

1/4 inch tubing 

2 lo 3 ft., for use in mounting 
|h© minor mounl 

Ground wve 

4 fl_, enough lo find suitable 
connection points 

Hose damp 

To attach the ground wire to 
1/4 inch tubing 

Tube pipe insulation 


Cigarette lighter 

12 V power adapter. 10 A, RS 

Banana jack binding 
posts and adapters 

RS #274-716, #274-716 

Table /, Parts list. 

Routing the cables 
and ground wires 

Notice that I've listed RG-58 (the 
thin stuff) as the coax to use. We need 
to be able to route the cable from the 
outside of the car to the inside of the 
trunk area. First check to see if you 
have any rubber water plugs in the 
trunk that will give you access from 
below the trunk to the inside. If so. this 
hole must be at least big enough to 
pass the diameter of the cable through 
or better yet, the diameter of the PL- 
259 connector. If the size isn't big 
enough or if there are no water plugs 
there, you'll need to cut off Che con- 
nector from one of the ends of the 
cable, With no hole available what 
we're going to have to do is to sneak 
the cable in through the water seal that 
runs along the Up of the trunk (Photo C). 
Fve usually seen this seal with holes 
predrilled on one side of the seah By 
putting one on the opposite side too, 
you can slip the RG-58 and even a 
ground wire though the seal. 

Start by connecting the PL-259 end 
of the cable to the mirror mount con- 
nector and run the cable up and under 
the bumper or other path that works for 
your car. Open the trunk and route the 
cable up and through the water seal 
holes. Once through, you can use those 
handy dandy quick connect crimp- 
style connectors to easily attach the 
male connector to the end of the cable 
which is going to the radio, Attach a 
ground wire around the antenna mount 
tubing and secure it via hose clamps. 
Run that wire up along the coax and 
through the same hole, or another, if 
the size is a problem. Connect the 
other end of the wire to any convenient 
ground screw you can find. 

This is one of the two grounds you'll 
want to have in the system. (Note: Fve 
found that some ground spots are bet- 
ter than others, so you might want to 
check with an ohmmeter to see that 
you've got a good short to the main 
body of the car.) The second connec- 
tion should be a ground w r ire from the 
radio to a ground screw near the radio 
at the front of the can 


I typically start with the full 102 


whip and cut down from there. Before 
you start cutting anything off of the 
whip, check the SWR as is. Depending 
on the type of vehicle (van, car, truck, 
etc.) and how close the antenna is to it, 
as well as how much of the antenna 
runs along side the vehicle, the length 
for a good match will vary. If you do 
need to shorten the antenna, only snip 
off 1/8 1 '— 1/4" pieces at a time. Decide 
ahead of time which portion of the 
band you'll be spending most of your 
time and go for the 1:1 match there. 
Note: Most of the voice SSB activity 
exists from 283-28,5 MHz, 

If you plan to bring the rig into the 
house nightly, you should take care to 
install easy disconnect connectors of 
some sort. I won't so into all of the 
possibilities here, but I ended up using 
banana plug binding posts and that 
worked nicely. If you plan on just 
running QRP you can get away with 
running direct to a cigarette lighter 

Continued on page 56 


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73 Amateur Radio Today * March 2003 13 

Jack R. Smith K8Z0A 
Telecommunications Consulting 
7236 Clifton RcL 
Clifton VA 201 24 

Al I Keyed U p 

Over this neat project. 

Hand-sent Morse is enjoying a renaissance. A variety of straight keys are available for 
purchase by Morse aficionados, including some that tip the price scale near $200. 
Although my surplus J 3 8 is still functional 40 plus years after I bought it, I decided to 
design and build my own straight key. 

I used a milling machine, lathe, and 
metal-cutting handsaw to make my 
key. With a bit of redesign and a lot 
more work, you could build a similar 
design using only a drill press and 
normal hand tools. 

A note on materials 

I've made aluminum, brass, and stain- 
less steel versions of my design. Alu- 
milium and brass are much easier to 
work than stainless steel and should be 
used if you only have simple tools. 
Brass has a nice color polishes up eas- 
ily, and is the traditional construction 
material for "brass pounding/' It can 
be lacquered to retain its sheen. II you 
use stainless steel. 1 suggest drilling all 
lapped holes one or two drill sizes 
larger than normally recommended. 
There isn't much mechanical stress in 
the key, and oversized holes will reduce 
the risk of tap breakage in stainless steel 
without impairing performance. 

Bearing block 

I made the bearing block (Fig, 1) 
from a 1" length of 1" square bar 
stock. In my design, the armature is re- 
strained from side-to-side movement 

only by the clearance in the bearing 

14 73 Amateur Radio Today • March 2003 

block slot Mill the slot for the arma- 
ture, making it slightly oversize so as 
to permit the armature free rotation. 
hut without excessive side-lo-side 
play. 1 found about 0.005" of excess 
width worked well. If the slot is too 
wide you may use shim washers to 
control excess side play. If you don't 
have a milling machine, it should be 
possible to make the bearing block by 
drilling and filing. In this case, alumi- 
num or brass is a much more practical 
material than stainless steel. 

The armature rotates in Oiliie^ bear- 
ings. (Oilite is a porous bron/e material. 
with oil trapped in its interstices.) The 
bearings are a press fit into the bearing 
block. Oilite bearings arc not strictly 
necessary, and a plain bronze bearing 
would likely work. An even simpler de- 
sign would omit press-in bearings and 
instead use the hearing block itself 

For the bearings to fit, the 0375" 
mounting holes should be drilled slighUy 
undersize using a ' 4 LT drill and reamed 
to final si/e with a 0375" reamer. 
Press or drive the bearings in place. 

The bearings and their mounting 
holes must be accurately aligned, or 
else the armature may bind. Drill and 
ream in one pass from one side, rather 
than separately from each side. 

I made the inner diameter of the 
Oilite hearing slishllv oversize with a 
0.25 2"' reamer to ease the fit with the 
0.250 a\le shaft. (Passing a drill or 
reamer through an Oilite bearing closes 
up the pores and may tear the hearing 
surface, This would be inadvisable if 
the bearing were to be used at high 
speed, but is acceptable for a hand 
key.) I reamed to 0.252 1f after pressing 
the hearings into the bearing holder, 
taking care to aliiin the reamer to the 
bearing hole. Alternatively, the axle shaft 
could be reduced a couple thousandths 
of an inch in diameter with sandpaper 
and the Oilite bearings kept as-is. 


The armature (Fig. 2) is made from a 
4-1/2" length of 1/2 11 x 1/2 1 ' bar slock. I 
milled the knob end of the armature to 
1/4 M to give me a better grip on the 
knob, but this is a personal preference 
item, If a milling machine isn't avail- 
able, the thickness reduction could be 
accomplished with a hacksaw, or a file. 

It's important that the axle shaft hole 
is made al right angles to the armature 
as accurately as possible, as any angu- 
lar error may cause the armature to 
bind in the hearing block slot. 

I drilled the axle shaft hole with a 
1/4" drill and reamed with a 0.252" 
reamer If you instead decide lo reduce 
the axle shaft to a couple thousandths 
below 0.250", the 0.252" ream isn't 

My design uses an upper spring ad- 
justment washer with a huh that when 
fully relraeled fits into a pocket milled 
into the armature. I used a 3/8" end 
mill to produce a fiat-bottomed pocket. 

The spacing adjustment screw can 
work loose as the key is used, so I 
added a 6-32 locking screw at the end 
of the armature. 

Base plate 

The base plate (Fig, 3) is made from 

a 5-1/4" length of 3" x 1/2" cold rolled 
steel bar stock. I tike a heavy base, and 
this substantial block of steel meets 
my desires. 

The bearing block and the ground 
connection post arc mutinied to the 
base piate with 6-32 screws. I used 
socket head cap screws, and used a 
counterbore to recess the heads of 
the SHCS screws to be flush with the 
bottom of the base plate. Alternatively, 
6-32 flat head screws could be used 
and flush countersunk. 

It's important that the screw holes that 

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attach the bearing block be accurately 
located so that the armature is centered 
and parallel with the long axis of the 
base plate. 

1 didn't want the spacing adjustment 
screw to contact the ha^c plate, as it 
would, over time, chip away the paint, 
To give the adjustment screw a safe 
contact point, I drilled and tapped Lhe 
base plate for a 1/4-20 thread and 
screwed in a 1/4-20 x 1/2" stainless steel 

U 0.50 


# 36 Drill & 6-32 

tap -2 pics 

TT Drill & 0.375 
Ream preferred 

Width of slot to provide 

clearance, but not sloppy 
fit to armature 




-« -1.00 



0.248 ■*" 


: i 



5 p 


All dimensions in inches 

Bearing Block 
Mafl: 1"xrx1" Brass, or 

Aluminum or Stainless Steel 

Fig. L Bearing block 




1x1 kT in. matenailQf beanng block, 
brass/aJumingiTv'stainiess steel 


1/2x1/2x4/5 in armature, 
brass/al^minum/stainless Steel 


OiDte bronze bearings, 3/fl in OD 0.25 m. 10 x 

0.25 in 


baseplate. 1/2x3x5-1/4 in. cold rolled steel 


3/B m. diam. x 1 in. long anil rod for connection 



1/2 in. OD x 1/6 m. thick Dolrin washer, 
clearance hole for 6-33 screw 


1/2 in, OD x 1/6 in thick Deirin washer, 0-25 in. 
clearance hole 


0.250 in. diam. x 1 in, long drill rod for axle 


6-32 hex key head set screw x 3/6 in. long, cone 
point, stainless steel 


1/4-20 x 1-1/2 in. stainless steel bolt, cut down 
for fixed contact 


1/4-20 x 1/2 in. stainless steel bolt, for fixed 
space contact surface 


B-32x3/8 m. hex key set screws 


6-32x1/2 m. socket head cap screws 


6-32x1/2 in socket head cap screws 


6-32 hex key set screw x 3/8 in long black oxide 

cup point 


6-32 hex key set screw x 1/4 in. long o*sck oxide 

cup point 


lower spring support from 1/2 in, steef rod 


upper spring support from 3/4 m. sieei rod 


spring, 1ST 0.021 in. wire 1 in tong 0.26 in. ID 


knob, plastic or ceramic a rawer pull 


felt or plasoc feet, sett-ao" 


6-32x3/3 in. socket head cap screws 

Table L Parrs list, 
73 Amateur Radio Today * March 2003 15 

Photo A. Completed key. 

Photo B. Milling the bearing block. 

bolt, positioned so lhat the adjustment 
screw strikes the bolt head* To dress up 
the striking point. I surfaced the hex 
boll head and turned the head round. 
The appearance is of a smooth cylin- 
drical pin, The round-headed bolt can 
be turned in finger tight and then final 
tightened with padded jaws pliers. 

I also wanted the bottom of the spring 
to not contact the painted base plate. I 
milled a 1/2" diameter pocket 1/16" deep 
to hold the lower spring retainer 

The hot side connection post and the 
fixed contact must be insulated from 
the base plate, I made insulating wash- 
ers from li 1/2" diameter Delriu rod. 
Nylon or other similar plastics would 
work as well The base plate has flat- 
bottomed pockets to accommodate the 
washers. The pockets are milled l/4 ,r 
deep to permit the screw heads to be 
flush with the bottom of the base plate. 

In addition, I milled a 1/4" wide slot 
between the hot side connection post 
and the fixed contact to contain a con- 
necting wire. I insulated the lugs with 
heat shrink tubing to prevent shorting 
against the base plate. 

Miscellaneous parts and assembly 

Fig. 4 details the remaining custom 
parts required for the key. The draw- 
ings are self-explanatory. Since many 
of these parts are visible, try for good- 
quality workmanship — chamfer edges 
and polish out any nicks or scratches. 
When drilling and taping the connection 
posts, soft jaws on the lathe may reduce 

I use a standard drawer pull, available 
at any hardware store, lor a knob. I've 
used both plastic and ceramic pulls. If 
you use a ceramic pull you may find it 

necessary to go to a heavier spring to 
offset its increased weight. 

1 found a suitable spring at the hard- 
ware store. It is wound from 0,02 1 11 di- 
ameter wire, 12 turns/inch, with an inner 
diameter of 0.26 inches. The spring was 
two inches long, and I cut it in halt for 
my key. Spring tension is a personal 
preference, and I like a small spacing. 
m »ft tension key. A good hardware store will 
have a selection of springs, so experiment 
until you find one to your liking. 

The armature contact is a 6-32 x 3/8" 
stainless steel cone tip set screw, ad- 
justed to have the cone part of the Up 
protrude below the bottom of llie ar- 
mature. This results in a slainless- 
stecl-lo-stainless-steel contact, which 
has proven satisfactory. If you can't 
find the cone tip set screw, you can 
grind the tip of a standard stainless 
steel set screw into a cone shape. To 

Photo C Ream the 0375" hole for the bearings. 
16 73 Amateur Radio Today * March 2003 

Photo D* Milling the reduced part of the armature. 



t , 
0.50 -L 

I 0.25 
? i 

1 •'■_ -4t2* - - -i*5i -;- - -\ r t^r i ,_. *>, , ,-'1l 


#36 Drill &S-32 tap 
S pics 

#27 Drill & 8-32 tap 

1 PlC 


0.25 drill 

0.252 ream 







0.50 T 

; ° 25 




1 125 







*• 0.375 + 

375 Dia p&cket 
0.25 deep 


Armature - Mat'l 1/2" x 1/2 x 4^1/2"Brass > 
or Aluminum or Stainless Steel Bar Stock 

Fig, 2* Armature. 

retain the set screw contact in the ar- 
mature, I used Locktite 222 small 
thread locking compound. Fingernail 
polish would likely work just as well. 

The spring tension retaining screw 
and the spacing adjustment screw are 
6-32 x 1" SHCS screws. I used black 
oxide screws to provide color contrast, 
but you may prefer stainless steel. 

Use a 6-32 x 1/4" set screw to hold 

the axle shaft to the armature, A 6-32 x 
3/8" set screw locks the spacing adjust- 
ment screw in place. Again, I used black 
oxide set screws, but stainless steel 
would provide a different appearance. 
The connection posts and the bear- 
ing block are held in place by 6-32 x 
1/2" SHCS. I used 8-32 set screws in 
the Lop of the connection posts, but you 
may prefer 8-32 Ihumb screws. Depend! ng 

6-32 threaded 




: 0.25 



Section A-A 

on how close to the bottom you 
were able to blind tap the holes in 
the connection posts and bearing 
block, it may be necessary to grind 
a little bit off the 6-32 x 1/2" 
mounting screws. 


After making the parts, assemble 
the key and verify the fit. In par- 
ticular, check the armature for free 
movement, but without excessive 
side play. 

When you are satisfied, disassemble 
and prepare the key for painting and 

Alter degreasing the parts, I sanded 
the base plate with a medium-grit em- 
ery paper and then painted it with a 
bare metal primer coat, followed with 
a finish coat of Krylon "Black 
Wrinkle/' I like a wrinkle finish be- 
cause it covers up minor blemishes in 
the base plate that might not have been 
removed with the sanding. Install 

Photo E* Drilling the armature. 

Photo E Using a hand tapping machine to tap ihe threaded holes 
in the armature, 

73 Amateur Radio Today • March 2003 17 


#7 Drill & 1/4-20 
tep through 













0.1 SS 

Mill slot W wide, 
0.250" deep on 
bottom side for 
connecting wire 




0.50 fc- ^ 

Section B-B 

Chamfer edges 

Bottom Plate - Top View Qty: 1 
Matl: 1/2" x 3" x 51.4" CRS 

3 pics 
#27 drill 

clearance hcte for 

6-32 & 

countarbore for 

1/2" dia 
recess, "Wl6 f " 
deep for lower 
spring retamer 



0.375" through 
hots, mill 1/2" dia 
0.25 deep pocket 
bottom side 



. \ — T 

1 1 

*- 0. 

Section A-A 

— - 


Fig, 3. Base plate. 


Say You Saw it In 73! 

The Gordon West 
Study Guides 

Examination Tesi 

Questions & Answers 

for General Class and Extra Class 

with explanations of the answers 

General Class 

Plus $3.50 S&H 

Extra Class 

Plus $3.50 S&H 

Omega Sales 

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self-adhesive felt or rubber pads at the 
four corners of the base plate to stop 
the key from sliding or marring your 

I finished the armature and bearing 
block with line-grit emery paper, fol- 
lowed by an automobite "scratch and 
swirl remover." This produced a 

Photo G. Marking the base plate using a height gauge. 

18 73 Amateur Radio Today • March 2003 

•-0.25 ■* 

© 0.252 
Ream to 0.252 \D 




Bearing -Qt'y 2 

Mat'!: Gifite Bronze 


#27 DrilF & e-32 
tap 1/2" deep 


#36 Drill & 6-32 
lap !V8" deep 

Connection Posts Qty: 2 
Mat'l: 3/8" dia drill rod 




#36 Drill &S-32 
tap through 




^ 075 *- 

Upper Spring Adjustment Qty: 1 

Turn from 3/4" dia brass or 

steel rod 

Fig. 4. Miscellaneous parts. 





#36 Drill & 
6-32 rap 

0.25" deep 



Fixed Contact 
Make from 1/4x20x1-1/2" 

SS Bolt turn hex head to round & 
surface head 

#27 drill 

Matl: Defrin or similar 
1 25" thick. Turn from 1/2" dia 


Insulatfng Washer 
Qty: 3 w/ ID = 6-32 clearance 

Dri Rod 



t r 


0.41 *- 



Through hole 
#40 drill 

Axle Shaft Qty: 1 

Matt. 0.250 Drill Rod 

Mill flat for sefscrew centered 

horizontally Chamfer ends 



0183 0.063 


Lower Spring Retainer Qty: 1 

turn from 1/2" brass or steel 






Spacing Striking Surface Qty: 1 
1/4-20 x 1/2" Stainless Steel bolt, 
turn head round and surface head 

^■0.50 * 

0.25 ■ M 





Insulating Bushing for Lower 

Contact Qty: 1 

turn from 1/2" dia Delrin rod or 


nice luster when applied to brass 
and aluminum. After polishing, you 

can treat the armature and bearing 
block with clear lacquer if you 

Photo H. Use a plastic hushing to prevent marking the connection posts while dri 
and tapping. 


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73 Amateur Radio Today * March 2003 19 

Photo L The knob is a drawer pull. The upper contact is a cone-pointed set screw. 

Photo X The space adjusting screw is locked in place with a set screw. 

wish to preserve the color in brass 
or aluminum. 

After painting the base plate, go 
back in with the counterbore tool and 
remove any paint that may have 
found its way into the three 6-32 
SHCS holes, as these screws must 
make good electrical contact with 
Lhe base plate. 

Make a short connecting jumper be- 
tween the fixed contact and the hot 
side connection post, using ring lugs 
on both ends of the wire. Route the 
wire through the milled slot. 

Parts availability 

Buying small quantities of metal is 
often difficult, I ordered the bar stock 
and base plate stock from Online 
Metals, at Web site | http://www.on- J. 

I ordered small hardware and plastic 
stock from MSC Industrial Supply, at 
Web site [hup://www.msGdirecLcom/l. 

Neither company has a minimum 
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Photo K. Oilite bearings fit into the hearing block, 
20 73 Amateur Radio Today ■ March 2003 

Photo L* Route the connecting wire through a milled channei 

Paul C. Florian KC5MFY 
1300 N. Redbud Blvd. # 247 
McKinney TX 75069-3355 

Junkbox Telephone 

Recording Adapter 

Caught on tape. 

Before using this device, be sure to check with your local authorities to find out if it 
is legal. 

Many times it may be neces- 
sary to record telephone 
calls. The circuit in Fig. 1 
will allow the user to automatically 
record incoming and outgoing calls. 
In order to do this, the tape recorder 
must have "REMOTE" and "MIC" 
inputs. The Telephone Recording 
Adapter (TRA) connects to the "RE- 
MOTE" of the tape recorder This al- 
lows the adapter lo start and slop the 
recording process. The device also 
connects to the "MIC" input of the re- 
corder. The telephone line is plugged 
into the TRA and power is supplied to 
the unit from a wall transformer If 
there is no unused telephone jack to 
connect to the TRA t a onc-to-two- 
telephone jack adapter is required. 
This will allow the TRA and a tele- 
phone to be plugged into the same 
telephone jack. 

Once all of the connections are 
made, the tape recorder is put into 
record mode. For an outgoing call, 
the TRA will begin recording the con* 
versation when any handset on the 
monitored line is lilted. If there is an 
incoming call the device will also 
record the conversation once a handset 
is lifted. 

Circuit description 

The TRA is connected to the phone 
line at Jl. The "on- hook" voltage at J 1 
is -48 V. D2 through D5 form a full- 
wave bridge rectifier. Positive 48 volts 
is connected to Dl (a 24 V zener di- 
ode). When all the telephones on the 
monitored line are "on-hook,** the 
voltage at the anode of Dl is 24 volts. 
This turns on the LED in the 
oploisolator through current-limiting 

resistor RL When the LED in ISOl is 

on, it causes the transistor in ISOl to 
turn on. When the transistor in ISOl is 
on, Ql and Q2 are off. 

However if the line has a telephone 
that is "off-hook," the line voltage is 
much less than 24 volts. Therefore, the 
LED in ISOl is off, causing the tran- 
sistor in the oploisolator to be high* 
impedance. R2 then pulls up the base 
of Ql and Q2. Q2 turns on D7 (the yel- 
low LED), denoting the "off-hook" 




47CrF25QV Tt C2 09 


la phone In 



1R T 1n SlN41« fi 1N414* 








4 7K 











»oso* [J II 



m R4 






I «3t 





in oun 






Fig. L Schematic of a Telephone Recording Adapter 

73 Amateur Radio Today ■ March 2003 21 










600 OHM : 600 OHM 




I a 




" ' • 



1 1 


Photo A. Telephone Recording Adapter, 

Fig* 2* Component pinouts* 





^ 7k 5% V4W 



'Ok 5^i 1/4W 

R3. R4 

220 ohms 5% 1/4W 



470 nF 250V 



i nF 









1 N4007 


06,09, O10 







Green LED 






600 ohm 10 600 ohm 




5 V SPST NO reed relay 



Telephone |ack 





3/32nncri plug 







=. • -zae 


SPSTiogge swttr 


9V 200 fiA iwtsJoiffitif 






Hookup wire 



Table I. Pans list. 

22 73 Amateur Radio Today • March 2003 

< Record) condition, 
Ql turns on Kl 
( which is connected 

to the tape recorder 
"REMOTE" input). 
When the tape recorder is in the 
RECORD mode, the contact closure of 
Kl starts the recording process. The 
600 ohm primary of Tl is connected to 
the phone line through C I . The 600 ohm 
secondary has its output clamped at 
±700 mV by D9 and D10 to protect die 
recorder input during telephone rings. 
This clamped voltage is connected to 
the tape recorder "MIC" input. 

Because the ring voltage oscillates 
below 24 volts, the yellow LED will 
flash during telephone rings. Similarly, 
Kl will open and close its contacts at 
20 Hz during die ring. Depending on 
the tape recorder, this may cause clicks 
or tones to be recorded on the tape be- 
fore the handset is lifted on an incom- 
ing phone call. Ul (7805) provides 5V 
to power the TRA from 9 V DC at J2, 

In this design, a heat sink is not re- 
quired for Ul. SI is used to turn the 
recording adapter on and off. D8 4 a 
green LED. glows to indicate power 
to the device is on. Turning off SI 
will disable the recording function 
when it is not needed (during modem 
communications, for example). 


This design uses several components 
which can be salvaged from a defunct 
cordless phone or out-of-date modem 
card. Some of the component that can 
be salvaged are Ul. C2. ISOl , Tl . K I . 
JL and the 9 VDC wall trans former 

Examine the cordless phone or modern 
circuit board and remove these compo- 
nents (refer to Fig. 2 and Table 1), 

If any of these parts cannot be lo- 
cated, they can be purchased new. A 
salvaged optoisolator is most likely to 
have a pinout shown in Fig. 2a or 
Fig. 2b. An example of a 600 ohm lo 
600 ohm transformer is shown in Fig, 
2c, The primary and secondary may be 
center- tapped or the secondary wind- 
ings may have two 600 ohm windings. 
Note that the impedance of Tl at audio 
frequencies is 600 ohms, but the DC 
resistance for a 600 ohm winding im- 
pedance is usually between 75 and 
200 ohms. The primary and second- 
ary windings may have the same im- 
pedance without having the same DC 

Once these windings have been de- 
termined, use a permanent marker to 
label the location of the windings ter- 
minals on the transformer. K I is a 5 V 
N.O. reed relav. To verify the coil ter- 
minals, use an ohmmeter to look for a 
resistance of a few hundred ohms. 
When the coil pins are determined, use 
the ohmmeter to check contact resis- 
tance with 5 V applied to the relay coil. 
The contact resistance should be ap- 
proximately zero. When the coil volt- 
age is removed the contacts should be 
open circuit. When connecting J 1 to the 
Adapter, only the two center terminals 
out of ihe six are used. 

Assemble the circuit on a piece of 
perfboard using point-to-point wiring. 
A printed circuit board is not gi\en 

Continued on page 56 

John Pivnichny N2DCH 
3824 Pembrooke Ln. 
Vestal NY 1 3850 

Meter Made 

Here s how to recycle those VU meters in old stereos 

Meters from discarded stereos con be used in many ham radio projects. This article shows 
how to measure their characteristics and put them to use as ammeters and voltmeters. 

Atypical stereo set. such as the 
Realistic 13-1198 originally 
sold by Radio Shack, will 
have two VU meters on the front 
panel as shown in Photo A. This 
meter is L5 inches .square and it 
has a white pointer with a black 

Another stereo rescued from the 
trash man, a Superscope Imperial 
Model C-5060, is shown in Photo B, 
This one had a bonanza of five 
meters. They are 1.9 inches square. 
Two had a level scale (VU) shown in 
Photo C and two had a waits scale. 

The fifth meter has a tuning scale. 
All five have a black pointer with a 
silver background. 

Radio amateurs should have no 
difficulty in locating an endless sup- 
ply of similar meters from discarded 
stereo sets. Check out neighborhoods 
where renters are frequently moving 
in and out, especially college stu- 
dents. The meters are easily removed 
from the sets. There may also be 
other parts of use to the radio ama- 
teur such as a power transformer, 
heat sink, variable capacitor, switches, 
potentiometer, etc. 

Measuring the meter's characteristics 

A meter can be characterized by the 
current level required to drive it to a 
full-scale reading and h> its internal 

resistance. One way to measure these 
characteristics is to set up a circuit 
shown in Fig. 1. A 1.5-voIl ,4 D" cell 
and 10k ohm potentiometer are con- 
nected in series with the meter. Adjust 
the potentiometer for a full-scale 
reading on the meter as shown in 
Photo I) 

Now measure the voltasze of the 
**D" cell with a digital voltmeter I 


Photo A, VU meter from Realistic 13-1198. 

Photo B. Superscope imperial C-5060 AM/FM stereo, 

73 Amateur Radio Today * March 2003 23 

)±^1—LL 1 ' 


Photo C. Level meter from Superscope set. 

100 K Oil m 


1.* Volt 
"D H cell 

meter with 



Fig, L Circuit for measuring meter characteristics. 

Photo D* Measuring meter characteristics. 


Level 1 

Level 2 


Watts 1 

Watts 2 

Current (^A) 











: = - 

Table /. Meier characteristics, Superscope 
Imperial C-5060 AM/FM stereo. 

Desired Full-Sea te 




Series Resistance in) 



360 0k 

1721 Ok 

meter when this 
measurement is 
taken. If there is, 
then your digital 
voltmeter is draw- 
ing loo much 
current and the 
measurement will 
not be accurate. 
The pocket digi- 
tal multimeter has 
a high enough in- 
put impedance so 
there is absolutely no movement of the 
needle pointer when this reading is taken. 

Remove the potentiometer from the 

circuit and measure its resistance with 
the digital multimeter. Then, using for- 
mulas I and 2 below, calculate the 
meter's characteristics* 

( 1 ) Full-scale current = ( V^ - V^ J 


Desired Current 

Resistance (ft) 

1 mA 



28 9 

100 mA 


1 A 


5 A 


Table 3. Shunt resistor values. 


(2) Internal resistance = V / Full- 
scale current 

For example, the Realistic meters 
measured; Full-scale current - 277 |iA, 
Internal resistance = 101 3 ohms- Table 1 
gives the measurements lor all five of 
the Superscope 1 s meters. The average 
is 258 p. A and 658 ohms. 

Use as a voltmeter 

A resistor placed in series with a 
meter allows it to be used as a voltme- 
ter. The series resistor value is given 
by formula 3. 

Table 2. Series resistors, 

used the inexpensive Radio Shack 
pocket digital multimeter shown in 
Photo D. Then measure the voltage 

across the meter There should he no 
drop in the lull-scale reading on the 
24 73 Amateur Radio Today • March 2003 

















Fig. 2. Proper way to connect meter in parallel with a low-value shunt resistor. 




Fig* % Use of a standard value shunt re- 
sistor by adding a resistor in series with 
the meter. 

(3) R = (Desired full-scale volts / 
Full-scale current) - Internal resistance 

See Table 2. The closest I % resistor 
can be used, or two or more 5% resis- 
tors can be combined in scries or par* 
allel to provide the necessary value, 

Use as an ammeter 

A resistor placed in parallel or shunt 
with the meter allows it to be used to 
measure current in milliamperes or 
amperes. The required shunt value is 
given by formula 4. The values will be 
in Lhe low ohms range, 

(4) R , = Full-scale current x Inter- 

^ 7 shunt 

nal resistance / (Desired current -Full- 
scale current) 

Table 3 gi ves some typical values for 
the Realistic meter. 

Two or more standard- value resis- 
tors can be combined in series or par- 
allel to provide these odd values. For 
low values below one ohm, it is impor- 
tant to connect the meter across the 












Fig, 4. Expanded scale voltmeter circuit. 

shunt properly to minimize the effect 
of resistance in the connections. See 
Fig* 2 for details. 

The selection of low-value resis- 
tors available to the experimenter is 
very limited. If a particular low- 
value resistor is available, it may be 
possible to use it in the circuit shown 
in Fig. 3. A resistor is placed in series 
with the meter. The series resistor is 
calculated from formula 5. 

(5) R , = [fR x Desired current) / 


slum i 

Full-scale current] - R, Internal 



Of course, if the calculated value 
of R comes out to be negative 

series ° 

with this formula, then the circuit of 
Fig. 3 cannot be used with that shunt 
resistor, A higher- value shunt resis- 
tor must be selected. Note that the 
circuit of Fig. 3 will also have a 
larger (but still small) voltage drop 
across the terminals than the direct 
shunt circuit of Fig. 2. 

Photo E. 1 2 -volt adjustable power supply. 

Use of meter as a suppressed -zero 
(expanded-seale) voltmeter 

In some applications, such as the 12- 
volt power supply described later in this 
article, it is desirable to have an ex- 
panded voltage scale. A circuit devel- 
oped for the battery fuel gauge from 
Electronics Now, April 1997, pages 58- 
59, 74 can be used See Fig. 4 

A percentage of the incoming voltage, 
set by R6, is compared to a fixed voltage 
set by a zener diode D I . Only when the 
voltage exceeds this value does the 
meter start to indicate. The left and right 
ends of the meter scale can be set by 
adjustment of R6 and R7 respectively. 

Circuit boards for the fuel gauge, as 
well as full kits, are still available from 
Unicorn Electronics at 1-800-221- 
9454 or [www.unicornelex.coml. 

Variable power supply using 
recycled meters 

You can use recycled meters to read 

Continued on page 57 


117 v. 




18 V. 

5 A. 

12 K 

0.5 1QW 


_ 1N4001 H — 

33,000 uF 
50 v. 



r K 1 

Fig. % Adjustable power supply circuit diagram. 

73 Amateur Radio Today * March 2003 25 

Klaus Spies WB9YBM 

81 5 Woodland Heights Blvd. 

St ream wood IL 60107 

Autobiography of Everyham 


How many times do you see yourself in this story? 

Amateur radio has, for many decades, been one of the more undervalued contributions to 
our communities. Having begun as a group of experimenters before the term "engineer" 
was used for much more than the guy driving a locomotive, these early pioneers 
helped develop radio communication as we know it. 

uring the evolution of radio, 

these experimenters were 

pushing the envelope with the 

development of new transmission 

modes, iransmiuers. and, well, basically 
anythinn radio. 

As technology progressed, it devel- 
oped complexities that could no longer 
be dealt with effectively (and developed 
further) without the aid of an electron- 
ics laboratory, or at the very least, 
someone with scientific training and 
access to appropriate tools. This led to 
the lament that the modern amateur 
radio operator was no more than an 
"appliance operator" — one who buys 
his equipment ready-made, and is either 
not inclined or not trained to repair it. 
Combined with certain antisocial habits 
exhibited by a minority of operators, 
it has often been asked, "What's the 
future of amateur radio?" 

To give credit where credit is due, 
there are a few remaining operators 
out there who realize that amateur ra- 
dio is, indeed, a service (the rules and 
regulations published by the Federal 
Communications Commission state that 
very clearly). When conventional 
communications systems are over- 
loaded during emergencies, there are 

26 73 Amateur Radio Today • March 2003 

still amateur radio operators who will 
jump in and volunteer their services. 
During special events, special service 
clubs often contribute their communi- 
cations skills to keep things running 
smoothly. A certain minority still even 
use amateur radio as a "test bed" for 
their experimental circuit develop- 
ment; learn a be Hit die propagation 
characteristics of various frequency 
bands, or of antenna types, or indulge 
in other learning processes that add to 
either their own knowledge pool or the 
accumulation of knowledge for the 
amateur radio community as a whole. 

Whether these contributions will 
suffice to convince the FCC that we 
are allowed to maintain our access to 
valuable frequency spectrum, and for 
how long, remains to be seen. The only 
thing for certain is that demands for 
more radio spectrum wUl continue to 
increase (brought b\ pressures from 
the cellular telephone industry and the 
public service sectors, especially in 
larger metropolitan areas where there 
are many such services requiring an 
ever increasing amount of tL elbow 
room 71 ). 

My amateur career is rather unique 
in that it began at the cusp, between 
the age of experimenters and the era of 

the "appliance operator." Having one 
foot firmly planted in each epoch has 
given me insights into, and the best of, 
both worlds. For those who share this 

unique position (or those I met on the 
way who came along for the ride), the 
experiences have, for the most part, 
been interesting at the very least, if not 
memorable. Having received my first 
license in 1976, 1 have had the longev- 
ity in the service that has given me the 
opportunity to not only he part of 
many unique experiences and histori- 
cal events (such as having been acti\e 
00 the first 220 MHz repealer in Illi- 
nois), but to have also provided the 
chance at reflection and introspection 
over several decades. 

The longer I am around, the more 
newcomers seem to ask mc what it 
was like, either in amateur radio in 
general or on their favorite band. At 
other limes, one of the twists and turns 
thai commonly take place in a longer 
conversation spark a memory of a cer- 
tain event in history that lead to an in- 
teresting or otherwise useful anecdote. 
While I don't mind rehashing some of 
the more poignant or humorous events 
(especially when suitably bribed with 
beer). I am as susceptible as anyone 
else to the foibles of memory, especially 

as the years advance. To minimize 
these pitfalls in memory, a written 
version seems in order. 

Early years 

The majority of amateur radio op- 
erators I met in my early years — and 
this happens to a more limited extent 
today — earned their licenses as an 
off-shoot of their employment: mari- 
time radiomen wanting to extend their 
interest to other services; radio engi- 
neers who thought it would be the fun 
thing to do; or military radio operators 
wanting a place they could cauy on 
with what they enjoyed doing but in a 
more leisurely environment. 

From them. I learned many good 
operating practices (most led by ex- 
ample), or in the case of the engineers, 
got help in developing my first in- 
sights into what it takes to put together 
a good radio setup (and other technical 

But. lis far as the actual licensing is 
concerned, I was a bit of the "odd man 
out"; I was too young to he a ship- 
board ^sparks" (my dream job that 
I've never been able to get — born too 
late!), and it was too early in my 
schooling to be considered anything 
even remotely resembling an engineer. 
Instead, I had developed my interests 
in radio by other means. The first ex- 
posure to radio was gained via an old 
shortwave receiver I found in my 
grandmothers closet when I was very 
young. They had bought the radio 
when they first emigrated to America: 
it was about the size of a small suitcase 
and was a tube radio — the early ver- 
sion of a Zenith Transoceanic. One 
thing I always enjoyed about the old 
tube radios are their ambiance: the soft 
glow of the tubes (unfortunately not 
visible on the Transoceanic, but on 
subsequent radios I had, they made a 
unique night light!), the subtle hum of 
the power transformer, and after hav- 
ing been on a while, the smell of the 
oil used to machine the metal pans (a 
residue always seemed to be on the 
chassis). Too bad even the best modern 
technology can't find a way to recreate 
that kind of nostalgia! 

After establishing my initial fascina- 
tion with hearing all those interesting 

signals from far-off lands, it didn't 
seem all that long afterwards until, a 
few years later in junior high school, I 
came across a fictional book in the li- 
brary (even back then 1 was an avid 
reader) whose main character got his 
"ham" license. 

This sparked my curiosity even fur- 
ther, and one coincidence led to another 
(the first being that 1 had found that 
book in the school library to begin 
with). Short Iv after I finished the book, 
the junior high school's vice principal 
started an amateur radio club. Thinking 
it had been established for those who 
already had a license. I missed the first 
meeting, but after mentioning the in- 
terest to my parents, I was encouraged 
to attend subsequent meetings. Fortu- 
nately, my first assumption had been 
wrong; the club had been set up for 
those who wanted to learn to gel their 
license. This was back in 1976, the day 
when the basic beginner license was 
the Novice class: Slow Morse code 
speed and technical knowledge were 
both required for the test; licensees 
were still given the unique prefix of 
"WN" to denote their status; license 
terms were still two years, and; a 
single person holding a General class 
or higher-leve] license could still ad- 
minister the FCC theory test, after 
sending in paperwork stating the stu- 
dent had successfully passed the 
Morse code requirements. This was 
still the case when I was in college in 
the early 1980s, and I administered the 
test to a few people at the college I was 

My dad (an electronics engineer at 
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73 Amateur Radio Today * March 2003 27 

many stations as they could, garnish- 
ing extra points for working other 
clubs. Although we had discussed put- 
ting together a school radio station in 
my junior high, it unfortunately never 
came to pass. 

Even the process of getting licensed 
pan ided its entertaining aspects. Al- 
though I may not have been the "per- 
fect" student. I was able to avoid 
more serious trouble. When the 
school's intercom paged me to the vice 
principal's office (he was responsible 
for looking after the troublesome stu- 
dents, among other things), my esteem 
in the eyes of the tougher kids went up 
a notch. Keeping the actual reason Ibr 
the page a mystery enhanced my sta- 
tus; having been one of the students 
singled out for being "picked on" by 
other kids, the status as an imperfect 
student encouraged others to look 
elsewhere for whom they picked on. 
Fortunately (as an additional benefit), 
these calls to the vice principals office 
were related to uisent club business, 
typically a last minute schedule 
change lor our meetinss. Getting out 
of what I thought to be a boring class 
didn't hurl, either! 

A surprise from the FCC 

The early days of my amateur career 
also provided my first scare. My dad 

and Mr. Panczyk, the schooFs vice 
principal, put up a 40-meter inverted 
"V on the house; the old tube radio I 
had (a Drake TR-3) would tune it on 
40 and 15 meters (a solid state radio I 
upgraded to many years later, a Drake 
TR-7, proved to be more fussy and I 
needed a separate antenna for 15). I 
had barely any time at all to get on 
the air (the first time was with Mr. 
Panczyk; we spent more time on the 
telephone than on the air), when I re- 
ceived a letter from the FCC. It put me 
into shock; realizing my inexperience 
on the air, I had always used above- 
average caution to avoid problems. 
Besides. I hadn't even been on the air 
Ions enough iu sci into trouble! Forte- 
nately, it turned out to be a pleasant 
surprise. I had received my license at 
the point where the FCC dropped the 
rule of giving Novice class operators 
distinctive callsigns. Typically novices 
who were licensed before then had to 
upgrade to the next higher class to lose 
that prefix, but since I was pretty much 
right on the dividing line between the 
two, they had given me an updated call 
without my having to do anything. 

Trying to get on the air in the first 
place can present its own set of prob- 
lems, as a test of the determination of 
the licensee, After a pleasant Saturday 
morning outing to a ham store about 

Photo A. Inner sanctum: Klaus WB9YBM at his operating position, Hidden from view on 
the center shelf is a 220 MHz radio and 10m all -mode transceiver. To the left, next to the 
cordless telephone (on the shelf), is his SWL receiver and scanner, conveniently located 
next to his bed. 

28 73 Amateur Radio Today * March 2003 

75 miles away during beautiful weather, 
going through some very enjoyable 
Wisconsin scenery, we got back to 
within two miles of home, only to have 
a car accident (fortunately, no inju- 
ries), Shortly thereafter, the one and 
only family car was stolen (a 1968 
Ford Galaxy — a car I was hoping to 
learn how to drive in, and buy from my 
dad at the appropriate lime). Although 
my dad was a help initially in getting 
licensed and on the air, it wouldn't be 
for a few more years that any mobile 
radio work would be done. This was 
approximately 1977, when my dad in- 
stalled a CB in a used 1974 Mercury 
Comet, a car I would learn how to 
drive in, and use as my car for almost a 
decade afterwards. 

Just like today, the best bargain and 
best way to get on the air was with 
used equipment. Back in those days 
when I first got licensed, that still 
meant manually tuned tube equipment; 
the operator would pick an operating 
frequency, and through the turning of 
several controls in a given sequence 
specified by the radio's owner's 
manual (usually read three or four 
limes through) would tune the radio. 
The radio was then tuned to a certain 
operating frequency, give or lake a 
Few tens of kilocycles either way. The 
operators who could afford to buy the 
parts typically did most of their tuning 
with the radio switched to a dummy 
load, and then tweaked the tuning on 
the antenna afterwards. This was the 
politer, and probably more legal, way 
of doing things. More creative opera- 
tors would calculate how many light 
bulbs were required to handle the out- 
put power of a radio, taking into ac- 
count the "on" impedance of light 
bulbs. Some of these operators re- 
ported surprising results with light 
bulbs, typically in the form of working 
another station a few states over with 
their "light bulb antenna/- to the aston- 
ishment of both parlies involved. The 
rest of us just tuned up right on the air, 
after listening for a clear spot on the 

The actual act of tuning a radio, in 
itself, was not that big of a problem to 
anyone who could understand the 
radio's owner's manual and have a bit 

of decent dexterity and eye-hand co- 
ordination, since tuning involved 
watching a meter while twirling 
knobs. The challenge was in the tech- 
nique of tuning. Even when owner's 
manuals provided pre-sets of the tun- 
ing controls, these were typically just 
rough estimates used as a starting 
point, with variations being caused by 
exactly where in a given band it was 
that the operator was tuning, how 
well the antenna was matched in its 
tuning point, and variations in all the 
myriad components in the transmit- 
ter It was not unknown for an opera- 
tor to blow out expensive transmit 
tubes because key-down times during 
tuning were too long, or the pauses 
between transmissions were too short 
to allow component cool-down. 

At the very minimum, the clumsy 
operator would cause damage to com- 
ponents just short of total failure, leav- 
ing him to wonder why things like 
transmit finals didn't last as long as 
they did for other operators. Usually 
the more astute operator would add lis- 
tening as a positive attribute to prop- 
erly tuning a radio — danger signs like 
arcing between the tuning plates of the 
air variable capacitors could be heard 
in the early stages of improper tuning, 
as could the smell of ozone in the more 
severe cases. A good operator knew to 
have eyes in two places at once — the 
tuning meter, and looking through the 
cooling slots of his radio, backing off 
the power when the cherry red glow 
of the tubes' pkiie got a bit loo 
bright. It's unfortunate that these 
techniques aren't being properly 
passed down from one generation to 
the next; inevitably, there are always 
going to be hams out there interested 
in antique radios who need to know 
these tuning techniques, and to this 
day I haven't seen them mentioned in 
any manuals, nor have I heard too 
many teachers pass these things along 
to their students. 

Since actual transmit tubes were ei- 
ther unavailable or loo expensive for 
the ham community, most early radios 
used television sweep tubes (two or 
three in parallel) for finals. Just like 
their transistor counterparts, they had 
to be replaced in, and bought as. 

matched sets. Even adding a fan to a 
transmitter didn't seem to extend the 
tube life all too much longer, espe- 
cially when the modulation mode used 
increased the duty cycle, as wiih 

Role changes 

During my high school years, being 
too busy with school studies, I had 
little time left to think about upgrading 
my ham license. Fortunately, during 
this time the FCC came to my assis- 
tance with two rule changes. First, the 
two-year license became renewable, 
and when I went to renew, they had 
changed it from a two-year to a five-year 
license. Luckily, I enjoyed Morse-code 
operations, and took every chance I 
could to operate. This stood me in 
good stead when I upgraded to Gen- 
eral class a few years later {code speed 
requirements were still 13 wpm back 
then). During summer breaks I studied 
for my upgrades, first to Technician 
class in March of 1981 (this was when 
exams were still given at the Federal 
Building in Chicago); this was probably 
one of the more unique graduation 
gifts anyone could receive, since I 
graduated from high school in June of 
that year. I earned my General class 
license in March of 1982, when the 
exams were no longer at the Federal 
building, and the \ : CC was renting 

meeting halls in hotels hi suburbs to ad- 
minister them. Further upgrades seemed 
a long way off, since I was now al- 
lowed to operate everywhere, and with 
every mode, that interested me. 

This was the time when there were 
still two further license classes to go: 
Advanced and Extra. The benefit of 
working up from license class to li- 
cense class during the period licenses 
were structured like this was that it 
was like going up a ladder rung by 
rung: You weren't overwhelmed by 
needing to take theory and code at the 
same time, except for the Novice and 
Extra exams. Since my upgrades were 
spaced apart a good amount due to my 
school obligations, my voice commu- 
nications was limited to listening to 
shortwave. To help me avoid frustra- 
tion at not being able to join in that 
aspect more directly, my dad got us 
started on citizens band during my 
high school years, initially getting a 
license for his business. I would later 
get my own CB license when 1 was of 
legal age to do so. We lived two miles 
away from an expressway, so I did my 
share of community service by helping 
the truck drivers find their destinations 
in and around our suburb, and steer 
I hem towards restaurants where truck 
parking was allowed. During bad 
weather, I'd listen to the emergency 
channel and provide help there (too 

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73 Amateur Radio Today • March 2003 29 

Photo ft Joe W9CYT/SK, long-time Elmer 
and friend, shown operating 220 MHz. 
Note die 1 60m AM Collins ca bitter in the 
background; and home-brewed coffee-can 
duplexers for 220 MHz standing on a stack 
of magazines next to the Collins. 

bad the amateurs have never decided 
on any one frequency as an emergency 
frequency; it has its uses!). 

Although now I Live too far from an 
expressway to be of much use to the 
professional drivers out there (and this 

Photo C Joe WA97MY, providing a tuto- 
rial on repeater maintenance on the 
224.78 MHz repeater site. 

30 73 AmatQur Radio Today * March 2003 

might change in the future, but for 
other reasons), I still find CB a useful 
tool when driving long distances, es- 
pecially on the highway. I've never 
understood the reason for some hams 
having a snobbish attitude towards 
CBers. There have definitely been sev- 
eral instances (and these have not been 
isolated cases) where 1 received more 
courteous treatment from CBers than I 
did from some hams. 

Getting on voice the first time on the 
ham bands — and for me that was on 
forty meters — was a real treat, in that 
communication went at a better clip 
than what could be done with code. I 
could finally get a much better first- 
hand glimpse of far-off places than 
previously. The main drawback I saw 
firsthand (I had heard others discuss it 
before, but up until then it was only a 
theory to me) was that voice gets clob- 
bered real quick with noise, and on 
forty that meant (especially at night) 
fighting all those shortwave broadcast- 
ers sharing the band back then. Since 
that time, there has been a bit of re- 
shuffling of die voice subband on 
forty, and due to budget cuts many 
shortwave broadcasters have left the 
air (or as a minimum drastically cut 
back on their transmitting schedule 
and frequencies). 

Of course, this did not mean forget- 
ting the code entirely. Whenever my 
parents went on vacation, there was a 
strong possibility that another antenna 
would find its way to the roof. Since I 
was studying electronics throughout 
high school and college, the primary 
equipment was financially subsidized 
until I was eighteen, since my dad felt 
he should help with my education. 
Subsidies were typically limited to 
50% and to primary gear (not the "ex- 
tras"), because I was also using the 
station for enjoyment So, the extra 
antennas were something I could af- 
ford on my own money, and did not 
need to ask for extra cash. After my 
dad's initial screaming that his house 
was starting to look like a porcupine, I 
reminded him how important he thought 
education was and this was, when all 
was said and done, part of my educa- 
tion. Wire antennas were, fortunately, 
not very obtrusive especially when 

kept in the rear of the property and 
covered by several trees in the front 
and side yards, All that passers-by 
saw were a few masts rising up and 
vanishing into nowhere. 

One of these new additions (a dipole 
for eighty meters) led to a memorable 
QSO. It was late in the evening (which 
may be part of the reason that the band 
was as empty as it was), and the band 
seemed reasonably open; I heard one 
or two stations, very faintly, coming in 
from some far off land. After scanning 
the band, I w r as surprised at how under- 
utilized it seemed. After not finding 
anyone to call. I decided to call "CQ" 
on my own. A station in southwest 
Wisconsin answered my call, coming 
in about S-2 to S-3, with almost S-0 
noise levels. We were pounding brass 
(me with a home-made keyer I had 
built for a high school electronics 
project, him with a straight key) for 
about two hours. At this point, he 
hegged off, claiming his fist was get- 
ting tired. Although it's been many 
years since this happened, Cm still 
curious how long we coukTve contin- 
ued — we were deeply involved in an 
interesting discussion, and who knows 
where it would have led. Even more 
phenomenal is that during the entire 
time we had no interference, no detri- 
mental signal fluctuations, and no one 
chased us off of "their" frequency. 

Chasing paper — NOT! 

I've never been a "paper chaser"; if I 
happen to qualify lor an award some- 
where along the way, fine, but I refuse 
to break my neck in the process. If a 
DX station doesn't acknowledge me 
on my third or fourth try, to heck with 
it; Til wait either for another DX sta- 
tion, or until I catch the same station 
but without the pile-up. I'm probably 
the only station that look an entire 
seven years to complete the Worked 
All States award (would' ve been a 
year or three earlier if Wyoming 
would' ve shown up sooner As it was, 
I caught it more by a bit of luck than 
actual intent). Of all the places to find 
Wyoming, it was on 75 -meter phone 
(the last place I expected to hear that 
stale). Thanks to a bit of insomnia, I 
was up to the unholy hour of eleven in 

the evening, tuning across 75/80 meters. 
I stumbled across a net, and checked 
in. Although I finally got tired, man- 
aged to stay awake when I very faintly 
heard a station mention he was in 
Wyoming. Although he signed off, his 
XYL picked up the microphone during 
the last portion of the net, in order lo 
finish things up. After the net closed 
down for the night, I tried giving her a 
call, but she didn't hear me. Fortu- 
nately, the net control station was still 
around and offered to relay any mes- 
sages that I might have. I explained the 
situation to him, and thanks to him 
encouraging the Wyoming station to 
crank up her volume control and to 
"listen real careful," I was able to 
make the contact. She included a very 
nice hand-written note with her QSL 
card (which I've kept along with my 
QSL card collection), wishing me luck 
with the WAS award. That award 
might've taken longer than usual, but 
unique contacts like this made the 
journey a lot more interesting. What 
good is an award, if there isn't an in- 
teresting storv to eo with it? (Like the 
time I got my Worked All Continents 
award; when I realized all I needed 
was Africa and I heard a station from 
that continent the first time, he musi've 
thought I was going nuts by the way I 
was begging him for a contact — hi ycs, 
yes, OM, I know your dinner's getting 
cold; with profound apologies to your 
wife, just a quick contact puh- 
leeeeze!" — by this time, both of us 
were chuckling; more importantly, I 
got the QSL card.) Would 1 ve helped 
having an antenna farm mounted on a 
ridiculously high tower and running a 
nuclear-powered amplifier into melt- 
down conditions, but what's the point 
to an award if it's that easy? Did it all 
with inverted **¥" or dipole antennas, 
running legal limit power only when 
necessary (ii isn't as necessary as often 
as one might think); otherwise I made 
do with 200 watts. 

By this time I managed to jump on 
the 2-meter bandw r agon. It was a big 
thrill being able to put up an actual 
gain antenna, because at those fre- 
quencies even a gain antenna is a lot 
more reasonable in height than the HF 
equivalent. With this in mind, I still 

have a hard time figuring out what 
possesses someone to put a 1/4- wave 
antenna up, especially for 440 MHz. 
Even though I was not talking with far- 
away places on two meters, it had its 
own type of perks — like getting the 
chance to actually meet the faces be- 
hind the voices (have you ever noticed 
how seldom people look the way they 
sound?). Given the type of operating 
going on ? on two meters, especially in 
the crowded, big-city environment, it 
did not take long for me to want to 
escape to new frontiers in VHF or 
UHF operation. Six meters — the only 
band (except for the remaining UHF 
frequencies) that I had not explored 
yet — was out of the question, since 
it's a neighbor of television channel 2 
which is in active use in the Chicago 
area, and I was creating enough QRM 
already. Besides, the things called 
"cable television" and "satellite televi- 
sion 1 ' hadn't even been heard of in the 
early days of my ham radio operations 
— people were still using antennas to 
receive their television signals. 

Good fortune once again intervened, 
and just at the right time. One of my 
uncles, who at that time was a car 
mechanic, knew a tow-truck driver 
who was an avid CB enthusiast — the 
type of CBer who was perpetually 
looking for a radio with more chan- 
nels, more power, more this, more that. 
Somehow, someone sold him a Mid- 
land 13-509. and then realized that he 
(after a few tries) couldn't use it. He 
couldn't figure out why and was at the 
point where he was frustrated enough 


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73 Amateur Radio Today * March 2003 31 

to toss the radio out, and my uncle 
mentioned to him that his nephew 
(meaning me) was into radios, and 
there mieht be a chance I could use the 
radio for something or another. 

Sometimes the most unique flashes 
of opportunity produce the most inter- 
esting results, and this was one of 
those times. The Midland 13-509, a 
rock-bound twelve-channel 220 MHz 
radio, was built in the early to mid- 
1970s; several other manufacturers such 
as Cobra and Clegg marketed identical 
radios but with different face plates, 
making them the default standard 
types of radios for 220 MHz operation. 
The 2-meter versions of these radios 
were practically identical, except that 
one of the frequency triplcrs in the 
power amplifier stages was replaced 
with a doubter. These radios were built 
in an era before manufacturers were 
over-cautious with part numbers; all 
the parts found in the Midland Radios 
were labeled with the generic part 
numbers found in parts stores, making 
repairs easy. Back then, the idea of 
shrinking radios as far as possible had 
not been thought of, leaving plenty of 
room in them for maintenance, and 
even adding small little circuits a 
home-brewer would think of in order 
to add little "extras'* to the radio. These 
radios were also designed with every- 
thing on a separate printed circuit board, 
making the receivers or transmitters 

easy to remove for use in home-made 

Although 1 had a radio with only two 
frequencies — the national simplex 
calling frequency and one major Chi- 
cago repeater — 1 was soon led to one 
or two other frequencies by the ^regu- 
lars" on that band, found a few addi- 
tional frequencies to try on my own, 
and quickly got hooked on 220 MHz. 
The operations on that band certainly 
seemed a lot more relaxed and polite 
than I had seen on 2 meters, so I had 
fewer qualms about investing money 
in the band. By this time, I was through 
college and on my way to the working 
world, making equipment purchases 
easier. My interests in 220 had gotten 
to the point where I wanted a synthe- 
sized ria. but since I had mv trustv 509 
as a mobile and base radio, I decided 
on an HT. 

The big rage at the lime were the 
Icoiivseries HTs; the selling point was 
that they had shrunk a radio to the 
height and width of a dollar bill (with- 
out the battery pack), although they 
were still relatively thick. It would be a 
Ousted companion for many years, 
even in the mobile (with a variety of 
amplifiers for mobile operation, rang- 
ing from 15 to 25 watts). 220 MHz 
operation brought new friends, and a 
better class of operation. It was the 
first VHF band where rag-chewing on 
repeaters was actually not only allowed 

Photo O, Fellow home-brewer Ken N9HXD, unwinding after a long day of discussing 

32 73 Amateur Radio Today * March 2003 

but encouraged, something that had 
been unheard of during my 2 meter 
days, It got to the point where a friend 
of mine and I not only played chess 
games on a repeater, but the gentleman 
we received permission from for that 
rag-chewing even kibitzed, and my 
chess playing certainly needs the help! 

Even during periods of high activity 
on diat band, people could be found 
rag-chewing on the national simplex 
calling frequency; if someone else 
needed the frequency, things were so- 
ciable enough so that there was never 
any problem letting them in or having 
them join in the conversation. I be- 
came part of a group that boasted being 
the first 220 MHz-only repeater club 
in Illinois (maybe even over a larger 
region). Luminaries like Bill Halligan, 
founder of Hallicr afters Radio, had 
been a member of that group before f 
came along. 1 regret having missed him, 
although plenty of interesting others 
made up for that along the way. That 
repeater was unique to the point where 
even several years after the repeater 
bad gone off the air, people were still 
talking about it. That led me to re- 
search the repeater and assemble a 
history for it; copies went out to all the 
past members that I could find. Subse- 
quently, it was published in a more 
official manner by QST t in their "FM" 
column — page 112 of their Novem- 
ber 1995 issue. Unfortunately; my 
friend Joe W9CYT passed away in 
September of that year; he missed see- 
ing the advanced copy I received from 
the ARRL by a matter of only a few 
weeks. Having stayed in touch with his 
widow Emma, I made sure to drop off 
a copy with her. along with an 11 x 14 
picture of Joe in his ham shack. 

Although declined somewhat from 
its initial splendor, 220 had always been 
known as the "gentleman's gentleman 
band," so any problems on that band 
were typically handled in a polite way. 
Over many years of operation, there 
were two or three of us with quite the 
talent for being able to rag-chew for 
long periods of time; three to five 
hours were often typical. One operator 
in particular I met on the calling fre- 
quency was a local, only about five 
miles away from me, living in Chicago, 

Close in age, we shared many common interests which 
included science fiction and a wide range of technical 
topics, fuel for our rag-chews. He is a bit of an unusual 
character, and unconventional attitudes and thinking (to a 
certain extent on both our parts) led to interesting topics of 
discussion, and provided good "brain exercise." Years later, 
his mother commented to me that she was glad her son had 
a friend like me; I guess she considered me to be the most 
"normal" individual that her son socialized with. After we 
shared common laments about the things we put up with 
from him, she asked how we ever put up with him; my 
comment was, "Everyone else is too normal!" I'm glad we 
got the chance to share a laugh — - I guess sometimes the 
truth can be as funny as the best joke. 

Another noteworthy individual I met through my V11F 
activities was Roy W9FHS {who passed away in 1998). 
Both he and Joe had worked for Motorola as far back as 
World War II (Joe having retired in *76), and had the chance 
to be involved with, or at least be witness to, many of the 
developments in radio communications throughout those 
years. At one point, Roy sent two pictures of him — one as 
he was working on a test bench, and the other while he and 
Joe were about to take some amateur radio equipment for 
aeronautical mobile tests in what looked like a Piper Cub; 
the equipment they were testing was for 2-1/2 meters, then 
available to amateur radio operators. These were two other 
individuals I shared many long and interesting QSOs with, 
although seldom with the variety of topics being discussed 
as with my friend in Chicago. The unusual point about Roy 
was that he never wanted to be seen; whenever a ham of- 
fered to give him a ride to a hamiest, or to play chauffeur 
for whatever errands Roy needed run, or just to drop by for 
a social calk Roy always demurred. Roy was also known as 
"Mr. HT." Every time he spoke with someone, it seemed as 
though he would mention a new HT he had recently ac- 
quired; it was also general knowledge that Roy only used 

Joe was active with tinkering after one fashion or an- 
other, well past his retirement in '76. He kept track of 
220 MHz propagation, worked DX when it was available, 
in spite of having only indoor antennas, and was fre- 
quency coordinator for over ten years. Thanks at least in 
part to his efforts, 220 MHz operation in the Chicago area 
stayed as well organized (and some say as civilized) as it 
has been, even several years after he retired from active co- 
ordination. Several people helped Joe with coordination, 
since we had our outdoor antennas; initially, I Lhink it was 
Ken (KA9BTJ/N9HXD); then, as Ken became less active, I 
helped out (even retyping the list on a computer, and dis- 
tributing it on an as-requested basis), as did Dave 
KA9KWR, (another friend and fellow rag-die wer I met on 
220, although Dave became active on 220 a few years after I 
had become established on the band). During his latter 
years, when his eyesight became less than ideal and hands 
weren't as steady as they used to be, Joe's home-brewing 
dealt mainly with the larger things that were easy to see and 
handle, like a dual-band 220 MHz and 440 MHz 5-element 

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If you're a No-Code Tech, and you're having fun 
operating, tell us about it! Other No-Code Techs 
will enjoy reading about your adventures in ham 
radio— -and we'll pay you for your articles. Yes, lots 
of nice clear photos, please. Call Joyce Sawtelle 
at 800-274-7373 to get a copy of "How to Write 
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73 Amateur Radio Today • March 2003 33 

loop antenna and home-made du- 
ple xers for his repeater, made from 
coffee cans, 

For smaller things like fixing micro* 
phone connectors, I was always glad to 
help out. In spite of the difference in 
our age, we became friends. He was 
very much like a favorite uncle until 
he passed away. Although our discus- 
sions usually centered on amateur radio, 
we had the chance for lunch get- 
togethers, trips to the odd ham I est, and 
barbecues at my parents* place. My 
mom and Joe's wife Emma became 
friends during that period of lime, Af- 
ter Joe's passing, until her passing in 
March 2001 , 1 was sure to always send 
flowers to Emma at Christmas, even 
through those years when my visits 
were infrequent. 

There don't seem to be all that manv 
hams left (if any!) willing to go to that 
extent for their home-brew projects as 
Joe did with his coffee can duplexers, 
although a few of us came close. In the 
early days of our friendship. Ken 
wanted to take along 220 MHz gear in 
the 1 974 Mercury Comet I drove; all I 
was set up for was two meters and CB. 
I wanted to donate some World War II 
aircraft radios to an aircraft museum I 
had heard about in Michigan, as well 
as stop by a winery on the way back 
(in Paw Paw* Michigan) to pick up a 
few bottles to take home. We thought it 
would be the ideal time to Lest the 
range of a few of the Chicago repeat- 
ers out towards the east/southeast, a 
direction we didnt drive in too often, 
and if we got lucky even meet up with 
another well-known 220 MHz user 
and friend, Dennis KA8BND, 

So, here's a nu>lv "74 Comet, already 


bristling with antennas for 144 MHz. 


28 MHz, and the FM stereo (the> were 
still external back in those days, in- 
stead of in the windshield — that came 
about five to ten years later), and Ken 
adds a 1/4-wave for 220. Ken's an- 
tenna consisted of the stiff household 
wiring used in the walls for household 
power, soldered to a bulkhead (SO- 
239) connector, and wedged in the 
passengers' side window. Whenever 
we accidentally keyed up 1 1 meters and 
220 MHz at the same time, an under- 
rated fuse would blow under the dash. 
34 73 Amateur Radio Today * March 2003 

Fortunately I knew which fuse, so all it 
cost us was a side trip to a Radio 
Shack. All those antennas on some* 
thing that was obviously not an official 
test vehicle by any stretch of the 
imagination makes it surprising we 
didn't look suspicious enough to get 
pulled over. 

Unfortunately we missed Dennis, but 
did get a tour of the 224.30 repeater 
site near Niles. Michigan, by 'Doc/' 
die system's owner, and had a pleasant 
visit with this 220 regular whom we 
didn't get the chance to talk to all that 
often. This took place at the beginning 
of a time when we would go on trips at 
the slightest excuse; Ken shared my 
interest in studying the range of our fa- 
vorite repeaters (I was to continue this 
later, in a time when it became increas- 
ingly hard to gain Kens participation 
in much of anvthing. due to his health 
situation). Either with a group of oth- 
ers or on our own, we would make 
trips to sites within a day's drive of 
Chicago (like the Oshkosh Aircraft 
Museum, and the architectural museum 
in Spring Green, Wisconsin). It was 
the one of few friendships in amateur 
radio that developed to include inter- 
ests other than strictly radio communi- 
cations, and extended to such diverse 
things as Halloween parties and laser- 
lag competitions at the local laser-tag 
establishment (which has since gone 
out of business, at least in this area). 

The mention of road trips brings 
back memories of a business trip my 
dad took with our two meter portable 
(for those who might remember the 
old antique radios, it was an Icom IC- 
2AT). He favored 2-meter operation 
longer than I did, mostly from a practi- 
cal standpoint way back then: there 
were still more repeaters on two 
meters than there were on 220 MHz, 
and he did a lot of traveling for busi- 
ness. He usuallv did more listening 
than talking, since he was never sure 
what to talk about on the radio, al- 
though in one particular trip when he 
was driving I had actually been able to 
convince him to transmit a bit. I was at 
the home station, and he was providing 
a commentary about hi* location, traf- 
fic, when he'd be back, and such, 
when his signals started to get noisy. In 

order to keep talking for a few more 
miles, he ended up placing the HT on 
the roof of the car (both to get the 
ducky antenna outside of the shielding 
of the car's metal bod v. as well as to 
get a decent ground plane effect from 
the cars roof), using the speaker/mi- 
crophone with his other hand, and 
steering the car with hN left knee; all 
while doing the speed limit on the ex- 
pressway. For a half hour or so follow- 
ing my dad signing out, all that the 
hams on that repeater could talk about 
was "the nut with the HT." (At least 
for a short time, this resulted in my not 
getting the standard lecture about what 
dumb stunts kids do.) 

Some of the friendships in amateur 
radio can he considered unusual in 
their consistency (longevity) or lack 
thereof On the HF bands, due to the 
variabilities of propagation, it is often 
difficult to meet the same person twice 
with any consistent regularity, making 
the development of friendships at least 
mildly challenging. On VHF and UHF 
bands, though, much time is spent 
driving to and from work with basi- 
cally the same group of people riding 
along with you, via radio. This usually 
happens long enough (and usually 
longer) to have acquaintances turn into 
at least mild friendships. Yet, people 
seem to come and go (some switching 
jobs, work times, or frequency bands; 
others move out of the area, or retire) 
without keeping in touch with friends 
left behind. By the time this phenom- 
ena had developed from a curiosity 
into some kind of cosmic ritual, I 
pointed this out to Dave (KA9KWR). 
mentioning that the situation seemed 
like we were the "regulars" on a teievi- 
sion show and we re watching the 
comings and goings of the "guest 
stars." Some would even go so far as 
lo say our antics qualified this as a 
comedy show, but more on thai later. 
Maybe Fm being loo sentimental or 
nostalgic, but occasionally it seems a 
bit sad to think a lot of the voices and 
conversations of the past long gone; the 
sentimentalist in me wishes that, way 
back when, when these conversations 
took place, I would' ve had the fore- 
sight to capture at least a few on tape. 

Next time: Fun times, bedsprings, 
and flagpoles. 

Hugh Wells W6WTU 

1411 18th St. 

Manhattan Beach CA 90266-4025 

All About Electronics Frustration 

Or, what to do when neighborly theory meets neighborly reality. 

Hams get involved in some interesting and sometimes weird electronic projects. Have 
you ever had a neighbor walk up your driveway and hand you something electronic 
and ask you to repair it? Because hams are involved with electronic theory, techniques, 
and hardware, they're liable to be asked 10 repair most anything, but does it matter 
what the application might be for the device that's to be repaired? 

One of my neighbors asked me 
to look at and repair, if pos- 
sible, a pocket Panasonic RF- 
455 AM/FM broadcast radio as shown 
in Photos A and B, Normally the time 
required to diagnose and repair such 
a radio is very short, and of course 
believing that, [ accepted the task. 

Guess what? As you perhaps have 
already guessed, the task turned out to 




fa - ■ ■ ^ d 





• _• . 

• _ ». 


* » * ■ » • 


• ^ • 


■ _ ■ . 



Photo A. Shown is the from face of a 
Panasonic model RF-455 broadcast AM/ 
FM/FM -STEREO pocket radio, 

be very time consuming. It wasn't that 
the circuit was too complicated, but 
the AAA cells had leaked inside of the 
case, causing corrosion and damage to 
the board circuit traces. At this point 
most hams in their right mind would 
return the radio as "not repairable." 
Well, either I'm gullible, out of my 
mind, or just curious about the chal- 
lenge of a somewhat common circuit; I 
decided to see how far I could go in 
sorting out the problems. You see, it's 
always been my philosophy that if a 
device once worked, that it should be 
capable of working again. 

Since the battery leakage had dried 
and was left as hard corrosion, chip- 
ping it off with an X-acto knife worked 
quite well. Once the board had been 
cleaned up, power was applied, and as 
expected, the radio tailed to play. 
Originally, the circuit board had been 
coated with a green solder mask, but 
some had been undermined hy the bat- 
tery fluid, causing black corrosion 
along portions of the trace. Scraping 
the circuit trace lines with the knife 
revealed two obvious circuit breaks. 
These breaks were repaired by bridging 
them with wire jumpers soldered across 
the gaps. Photos C and D. respectively, 

show the top and bottom sides of the 
printed circuit hoard. Fig. I shows the 
parts placement and identification for 
the major parts on the hoard, 

Applying power again to the radio 
created a new set of circumstances that 
led me down a serious troubleshooting 
path. With 3 volts applied, the radio 
failed to play. However, after decreas- 
ing the voltage to L7V. the AM radio 


Photo B* Shown is the backside of the 

Panasonic broadcast radio. 

73 Amateur Radio Today • March 2003 35 

Photo C The component side view of the printed circuit board. 

Photo t). The bottom side of the circuit board. Circuit traces were 
damaged by leaking battery electrolyte. 

showed signs of life, though poor. Af- 
ter operating for a while, the sound 
would fade away as if the supply volt- 
age was being reduced. Raising the 
voltage above 1 JV caused the sound 
to stop as well — so where to go next? 
At this point I concluded that I 
needed to know more details about 
the circuit than what 1 could view by 
looking directly at the circuit board. 
Correct, I wasn't familiar with the ICs 
used on the board, so they provided a 
level of unknown. Therefore, some 
logical troubleshooting technique was 
warranted. This step required a sche- 
matic, but where does one gel a sche- 
matic? After an Internet search for 
either a schema lie or Jala on the ICs 
used, the only thing available was data 
on one of the three ICs. Believe it or 
not, that's the one 1C that appeared to 
be working properly. Therefore, the 
only avenue left open to me was to 
trace the circuit and draw out a sche- 
matic, Tracing and drawing the circuit 
took some lime, but a sufficient 
amount of the circuit was developed to 



\l) ® 






3 *- 


Fig. L A drawing showing the placement 
and identification of the major components. 

36 73 Amateur Radto Today • March 2003 

enable my understanding of what was 
going on in order to iroubleshoot the 

Since IC data except for one chip 
was unavailable, pin functions for the 
two unknown chips left a lot to be de- 
sired. The signal path information de- 
veloped through the circuit tracing 
allowed me to assume circuit path 
functions for most of the IC pins. From 
my circuit tracing, the combined block 
and schematic diagram was developed 
and is shown in Fig. 2. Circuit wise, the 
radio is made up into sections, with 
IC1 being the FM mixer/oscillator 
feeding a 10.7 MHz signal through a 
ceramic filter into IC2, IC2 is a com- 
plex device in that it contains the AM 
oscillator and mixer in addition to the 
10.7 MHz IF and FM quadrature de- 
tector, A detected DC voltage level 
from the detector circuit is used it) 




drive a varactor diode used for AFC of 
the FM oscillator. 

The detected audio output, which 
also contains the FM multiplex signal, 
is routed to IC3. IC3 is made up of the 
stereo multiplexer, two preamp audio 
channels and the stereo lamp driven 
Output audio from each preamp is fed 
through individual volume controls 
mounted on a common shaft to drive 
two individual discrete transistor am- 
plifiers. One path is used for both AM 
and monaural FM audio, and the sec- 
ond path is used for the second audio 
channel during a stereo broadcast. Be- 
cause of the interesting design used in 
the two audio amplifiers, I've shown 
them in Fig. 3. There are slight differ- 
ences between the two circuits, and 
both are shown instead of one to repre- 
sent both. These amplifiers operate 
from a 3- volt battery and provide an 

ct r^ 

F k 

fiLTm ft 

■O fMNC 
TiLTf fc 












TT jjin I * I * I l 
OlC Bir it it 

iit0>r*-rc ft 

Fig. 2. This is a combination signal path diagram and partial schematic with IC pin 
numbers identified. 

+ 3v 




n ' 


i — , 


r 4 7 f 


• * * » 


* i J + 

T4,»fT*J" t* ftti 

AM/m l-**3 1wiT(N 

Fig. 3. Shown is the schematic diagram of the discrete audio amplifiers. Included is a 
pictorial view of the phone jack and internal switching arrangement. Also shown is a 
truth table identifying switch pin positions for the dual three-position AM/FM selector 

audible signal level that seems to be 
quite adequate for a small handheld 
radio. I would have to conclude that 
the power drawn from the battery is 
minimal but varies directly with the 
desired volume level At least with my 
hearing capability, there is no detect- 
able distortion in the audio until the 
speaker cone strikes a travel limit. 

Of importance during troubleshooting 
is the identified signal path and the 
associated IC pin. To obtain a reasonably 
accurate schematic, it was necessary 
to remove the dial assembly. AM/FM 
selector switch, and the stereo head- 
phone jack. Detailed information on 
both the switch and headphone jack is 

shown in Fig. 3, The stereo headphone 
jack was interesting in that I hadn't 
seen one previously that contained 
three switches and the only way f had 
of interrogating it was to remove it 
from the board. You ll note that the 
AM/FM switch is a dual three-position 
selector switch, with pins 2 and 6 being 
independent common wiper pins. 

The slide-rule dial assembly had to 
be removed to obtain access to the bot- 
tom side of the circuit board, otherwise 
it would have been better to leave it 
in-piace. On a cautionary note, a 
Circlip (or **E" clip) is used to hold the 
dial's tuning shaft in place. The clip 
must be captured during removal or it 

Fig* 4, This is a drawing showing the dial cord routing including the correct orientation 
of the tuning capacitor s pulley. 

will be lost forever (biblical terms are 
usually expressed as the clip goes fly- 
ing away). Fig. 4 shows the dial string 
configuration. Yes, I certainly needed 
the diagram during the re- assembly 

Equipment required for troubleshoot- 
ing is: a voltmeter, signal generator, 
and a receiver tuned to 1 0:7 MHz. The 
first step in troubleshooting was to 
check the FM mixer-oscillator to de- 
termine if signals were passing into the 
IF path. The receiver was connected to 
the output of the 1 0,7 MHz IF ceramic 
filter, and signals were present and 
tunable indicating the front end was 
operating correctly. With the front end 
operating, the next step was to deter- 
mine if the 1 0.7 MHz IF and quadrature 
detector were operating. At this step I 
ran into an interesting set of circum- 
stances. At first, the IF/detector 
failed to operate. However, after 
raising the generator's signal output 

(Doniinued on page 57 

Pin m 


AN 7226 













1 45 





<- - 3 





1 41 









2 SI 




















I 11 




























I ,B 




Table L Shown are the voltage readings 

taken at each IC pin using a high imped- 
ance digital voltmeter. At the time of mea- 
surement the supply voltage was 3.0V. 

73 Amateur Radio Today • March 2003 37 

Henryk Kotowski SMOJHF 
Sibeliusgingen 28, XI 
SE-164 77Kista 

Travels with Henryk — Part 1 

Lithuania: "elementary essence of our hobby. " 

It is a small country, exactly in the middle of Europe, at least according to the French 
Geographical Society. Tucked away on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea, between the 
Russian province of Kaliningrad (UA2F), Poland, Belarus, and Latvia. Lithuania is 
similar to Ireland in respect to land area and population figures. It is also a green, agri- 
culture-dominated country. But amateur radio activity is definitely higher in 
Lithuania. There are also tens of active radio clubs in LY-land. I visited two of them. 

|he capital city is Vilnius, and 
there I found a well-equipped 
club in The Youth Technical 
Creativity Center. The cull sign is 
LYIBZB but sometimes thev use the 
shorter contest callsign LYSX. The 
Shack is prepared lor multi-operator 
efforts (Photo A). The roof, from 
which I had an impressive view over 
the whole city, is armed with HF and 

VHF radiating arra\s <Photo B), 
Maintenance of some of these antenna 
is not easy (Photo C) T as the building 
is more than 100 ft. high and balancing 

on the edge is risky. The larger part of 
die club's equipment and measuring 
instruments is bulky and obsolete 
(Photo D), hut they do have a few 
modern-technology items. However, 
an average income is still low here and 

Photo A. The radio room at LYiBZB club. From left; Viaceslav LYIFE Ernest LY3PH, 
Roy LY2BKE (Photos by Hennk Kotowski SM0JHF) 

38 73 Amateur Radio Today - March 2003 

new equipment is not affordable by 
everyone. This club welcomes mainly 
younger people who are attracted by 
our hobby. There are other depart- 
ments in this Creativity Center, covering 
most technical hobbies like building 
aircraft models, go-carts, or computers. 

On a more advanced level of technical 
knowledge and of more mature age are 
the members of the radio club at the 

Photo B, The roof of LYIBZB club with 
HF antennas upfront* 

Photo C At the roof of LYIBZB radio club in Vilnius. Roy LY2BKE and tower, Ernest 

Kaunas University of Technology, 
Their Web site is at [htip://www. 
radio/). Out of nearly 100 members. 

students and graduates, teachers, and 

researchers, I met onlv two. 


When I met Ricardas LY2FN, who 

Photo D. Some measuring instruments of 
LYIBZR radio dub. 

lives in Kaunas, second-largest city of 

Continued on page 58 

Photo E. Ricardas LY2FN shows his homemade HF Transceiver: 

Photo G. Algis LY2NK in the Kaunas University of Technology 
radio club LY2ZO, 

Photo E Ricardas LY2FN at the club LY2ZO displays power 
tubes commonly used by amateur radio operators in this part of 
the world. 

Photo H. Aigis LY2NK at one of the contest operating positions 
out of town at the LY7A site. 

73 Amateur Radio Today * March 2003 39 

Carl Herbert AA2JZ 
43 South Plank Rd. 
Newburgh NY 12550 

Front and Center 

How to use your comparer to make personalized front panels. 

By using a ''word processing 19 approach, you can personalize your next project and have it 
"stand out from the crowd. w Using readily available technology and a little imagination, 
you will he able to create a distinctive "panel cover n to complement your next creation! 

There's always a project brewing 
on my bench, and as often as 
not, Trn anxious 10 "see" what 
the final appearance will be. This is 
usually the case long before all ihe 
"bugs" are worked out of the design. 
How many limes have you placed a 
control on Ihe from panel only to find 
it is in an impossible location when il 
comes lime for labeling the front 

panel? The style and siie of control 
knobs play a hij: part in where the la- 
bels are placed, what size they should 
be, etc. Wouldn't il be nice to be able 
to add "special effects" to have your 
project be nn>re appealing to look at? 
Il is my goal to create projects that not 
only work as required, but are pleasing 
to look at 
The outer dimensions of projects 

Vrrtnw mill 


effem >n 

from ~0ri* p 


Line we tght-i + color* and 

styles are sclcetaM* 

(Standard and Dm* 


These hues cud be removed 
jfttr you're satisfied with iht 
"hrtlcs" povthKiin^. Tnev arc 

used as i guide t«> t»*p Mule* 
-pan lid" 

Using ^'ordArt 1 

to create 

efTccis-* IJra» 


A**Htirdfrtti H 
I idiL-l simple 

Fig, L Typical Won! layout face plate. 
40 73 Amateur Radio Today ■ March 20Q3 

today arc generally smaller than in 
days gone by. This size difference can 
be a problem! The * 4 tape writer** or 
"rub-on" lettering isn't the correct 
size, and is often difficult if not impos- 
sible to apply. It sometimes just 
doesn't look good when you're fin- 
ished. Today's computer technology 
has given us a way to create front 
panel "labels" that are easy to create, 
look great, and can be reproduced ei- 
ther in whole or part for future 

My computer uses Microsoft Word 
2002^ as its word processing software 
with Microsoft XP Professional, For 
those of you who are less computer-lit- 
erate than I land there aren't many of 
those around anymore!), you will need 
to "turn on" the following options if 
they aren't activated already. Located 
in the top menu bar. click on "View/' 
then click on "Rulers." This will acti- 
vate rulers on the top and side of your 
screen. Next click on "View" again 
and select "Standard, and Drawing' 1 
tool bars. The Standard toolbar is lo- 
cated at the top of your screen and dis- 
plays icons such as "print, save ABC, 
etc," The Draw toolbar is at the bottom 
of the screen and has "AutoShapes* 

lines, arrows, etc:, " located on it. Ei- 
ther of these toolbars can be moved to 
other locations you may find more 
convenient. I happen to work with 
them in these locations- 

Begin by measuring the face plate 
material, make note of the length and 
width. Don't forget to measure where 
needed holes are to be drilled. A rough, 
hand-drawn picture on scrap paper 
will suffice at this point. Then, on a 
blank, open "Word" document, create 
a "Text Box" from the "Bmw" toolbar 
by clicking on the "page" icon (a 
square with lines on it representing a 
printed page). Make the rectangle 
slightly larger than the measurements 
of the blank face plate. Use the Ruler 
at the top and side of the screen as a 
guide. The excess paper will be 
trimmed away later when the fin- 
ished print is adhered to the face plate 

Now the fun begins! 

Select the "slanted A" (Word Art) 
from the Draw toolbar, choose die first 
example in the upper left corner of the 
menu, set the type size to 1 8, and type 
your call. When you're done, select 
OK. The open-faced capital letters 
should have appeared somewhere on 
your Word document. It can be moved 
to your beginning panel by left click- 
ing on the Word Art to bring up the 
"handles" (little squares) and dragging 
the Word Art to where you desire it. 
Those handles allow the work to be 
stretched, skewed, moved, rotated, etc. 
If you aren't pleased with what you 1 ve 
added, on die Standard toolbar are two 
curved, pointed arrows. Click on the 
left one and your last attempt is re- 
moved, while clicking on the right one 
will put it back. Key strokes can be 
removed or replaced in the order in 
which they were created, until the file 
is saved. What you've created should 
resemble the drawing in Fig, 1, with 
your callsign of course! 

The neat thing about using a Word 
program to design a front panel face is 
that none of it is permanent until you 
want it to be, Go ahead, move things 
around, try different lines and shapes! 
The file you create is limited in design 
only by what you try. Having trouble 

Photo A* 5.25— 5 A MHz receiver project. The case is a "left over" computer hem. The 
word processing approach to faceplate design dresses it up just right. 

making the "holes" for the controls 
line up? Draw guide lines using the 
"lines" option from the Draw toolbar. 
They can be deleted later. Fill color 
can be added to different portions of 
the drawing using the "spilling paint 
can" command from the Draw toolbar. 
Lettering colors can be changed by us- 
ing the Font color command from the 
Drawing toolbar There are many 
things that can be controlled from the 
toolbars: centering the lettering, chang- 
ing the border line colors, etc. The 
manual that came with the computer 
will list them. Unless of course, your 
computer is like mine and is minus the 
manual. In this case, you just have to 
play (design) and try things out! 
Let's assume that you've put together 

a design you find attractive for your 
project. Print a copy of your design. 
Now, while holding it against the 
blank face plate, make sure that the 
layout is correct. By this, I mean that 
the hole locations are where they 
should be, that the lettering will fall in 
the proper place. I said to make the 
overall size of the print slightly larger 
than the measurements of the blank 
face plate. I do this to ensure that the 
design I created will fill the entire 
length and width of the plate, and that 
the callsign or other design will have 
some space at the end and not run off 
the end of the plate. 
Printing the first few tries on plain 

Continued on page 58 


--' rs^.-r.M ■■ ■ ■■ — . m ill , i. .— ,--^.: T ~.--^t T ^ 


Photo B. The panel slips into slots and the top snaps over it all to keep it together. 

73 Amateur Radio Today • March 2003 41 

Neuer shy die 

Continued from page 8 

Van Allen 

The Van Allen radiation belt, origi- 
nally predicted and described by Nikola 
Tesla, protects us from high energy ra- 
diation from the Sun. Okay, .so what's 
the bi*j deal? We're shooting astronauts 
into Earth orbit all the time. Some even 
stay there for quite a while in the space 

The big deal is that all of this activity 
is going on hundreds of miles up, not 
thousands, where they'd have to deal 
with the intense radiation in the Van 
Allen Belt. 

One mission did get up around a thou- 
sand miles, where the Van Allen Belt is 
just barely starling, but they reported 
seeing intense light flashes in their heads 
resulting from the radiation and had 
to quickly be brought down to a 
lower altitude, 

Bart Sibrel reported on the C2C show 
that he asked one of the men who sup- 
posedly went to the Moon ahoul seeing 
this phenomenon while passing through 
the Belt. No, he'd seen nothing like that. 
None of the Apollo astronauts reported 
anything like that. This further convinced 
Bart thai the Moon missions had been 

Bart's the guy who got socked in the 
jaw when he asked Buzz Aldrin to swear 
on the Bible that he'd actually been to 
the Moon. 

More Moon 

A ham friend who worked for NASA 
in the '70s explained why the engineers 
at NASA during the Apollo missions 
had to use slide rules for their orbital 
calculations. The computers NASA 
used in the Apollo days were surplus 
fire control computers — 30 bit ma- 
chines with 32 kb of memory. That's 
kilobytes, not gigabytes. 

What fantastic luck to be able to get 
all those missions to the Moon and back 
safely with slide rules and a biack board 
for calculations. 

WA6VPS Rides the Airways Again? 

One of our most famous brethren, 
Kevin Mknick WA6VPS, is getting his 
ham ticket back! 

Mitniek, "the mosi wanted computer 
criminal in U.S. history/' says he's spent 
over $16,000 in legal fees to get his ham 
license back. He claims this is the most 
expensive ham license in the world. 
When you hear him on the air be sure 
you do your best to give him his money's 
worth. None of this stupid "the rig here 
is.*." crap. Ask him about himself. 

42 73 Amateur Radio Today * March 2003 

Kev was on with Art Bell W60BB on 
one of Art's final C2C broadcasts, It was 
nice hearing from the subject of so much 
furor. I only wish the interview had been 
more interesting. Zzzz. 


Your friendly drug companies and the 
FDA goofed again, killing a lot of cus- 
tomers. This time all drugs containing 
phenylpropanolamine are being recalled. 
Seems the stuff has been causing strokes 
and seizure in children and in particular 
with women in the 18-49 group. 

The stuff is in Aculrim, Alka-Seltzer, 
BC, Comtex, Contac, Dexatrim, Dimetapp, 
Robitussin, and Triaminic products, so 
check the fine print on the labels care fully. 
You can probably get a refund. 

If you'd keep your immune system in 
shape you wouldn't need any of this 
junk anyway. Remember, every drug has 
side effects, it's just that most aren't this 
serious. Or they haven't found out that 
they are yet. 


A letter from a reader says he talked 10 
a nearby seismograph operator a few 
days after the bombing. He said there 
were two distinct tremors recorded 
about nine seconds apart. The govern- 
ment explanation was that the second 
tremor was from the impact of the build- 
ing coining down. Later, when the re- 
maining building was brought down by a 
controlled detonation there was no 
tremor recorded, even though there was 
about five times the tonnage this time* 

I've copies of the TV news broadcasts 
of the bombing available for $10 (Radio 
Bookshop item #53). It shows interviews 
with .several of the building's occupants 
testifying that the first explosion was in- 
side the building, and the truck bomb 
went off a few seconds later. It also shows 
bomb squads removing two unexplodcd 
bombs from the building. 

There are suggestions that McVeigh 
wasn't really executed, but is living com- 
fortably somewhere with a new r identity. 

Money Talks 

One of the biggest mysteries in Wash- 
ington is who inserted a two paragraph 
rider in the homeland security bill which 
confers virtual immunity 10 drug makers 
against any vaccination suits. The sus- 
pected culprit is the mercury-based pre- 
servative used in vaccines for diseases 
such as mumps and measles. Hundreds 
of parents have sued the drug manufac- 
turers for including mercury in their 
vaccines after their children have been 
diagnosed as autistic. 

I read that in 2002 Eli Lilly alone gave 

$ 1 .6 million, mostly in cash, to GOP political 
candidates. Their investment clearly paid 
off. The Democrats failed their biggest 
contributors ,., trial lawyers. 

The Warming Crock 

The ignorant and misinformed are still 
making a stink about global warming. 
They're anxious to implement the Kyoto 
Protocol, which would cost us at least 
$500 billion a year and virtually destroy 
many third world nations. 

Warming? Historically today's tem- 
peratures are cooler than their average 
during the human era. The record shows 
that the world was several degrees 
warmer 1 000, 3000 and 6000 years ago, 
long before we started burning coal and 

Hinm, 3000 and 6000 years ago were 
when Planet X may have swished by, 
That should warm things up for sure. 

Fve been pooh-poohing global warm- 
ing for years and until I see some reliable 
evidence to the contrary I'm going to 
keep at it. 

Older Workers 

As an employer my experience with 
hiring older workers was that it wasn't 
worth it. The lure is that they've experi- 
ence and therefore should be able to do a 
belter job. The reality was that in the 
businesses I've been in things were 
constantly changing and older workers 
resisted change. I did far better when I 
hired young people and trained them. 

Kids are taught to get an education, 
get a job thac will provide security; and 
eventually retire ... life's earned vaca- 
tion. Few youngsters even consider any 
other route. 

More and more companies are begin- 
ning to wise up that older workers have 
gold bricking down to a science and, when 
revenues start dropping, early retiring 
them. This gets rid of the employees 
who've built up salaries through yearly 
raises. Workers over 45 are discovering 
that there are very few jobs open for 

My recommendation: even if you to- 
tally believe in a job and job security, 
give some thought to developing some 
sort of home- run business on the side. 
Maybe a mail order business, Then 
youTl have a cushion if your employer 
downsizes or goes out of business. 

Indian Casinos 

Time did a 13-page article on the In- 
dian casino scam. Let me quote: "Imag- 
ine, if you will, Congress passing a bill 
to make Indian tribes more self-suffi- 
cient that gives billions of dollars to die 
white backers of Indian businesses — 

and nothing to hundreds of thousands of 
Native Americans living in poverty. Or a 
bill that gives hundreds of millions of 
dollars to one Indian tribe with a few 
dozen members — and not a penny to a 
tribe with hundreds of thousands of 
members. Or a bill that allows select In- 
dian tribes to create businesses dial reap 
millions of dollars in profits and pay no 
federal income tax — at the same time 
that tribes collect millions in aid from 
American taxpayers. Can't imagine 
Congress passing such a bill? It did." 

And we're the patsies paying for all 
this, A tax cut? Har-de-har. 


Si-i-i-igh. A five-page article in Busi- 
ness Week on cancer was all about tradi- 
tional treatment. Well, they're certainly 
not going to take even a slight chance of 
offending the pharmaceutical industry. 
There was no hint of what's causing can- 
cer. No hint that there are any treatment 

Since no consumer publication dares 
to challenge the medical industry, FDA, 
drug industry; HMOs, and the parasitic 
sickness insurance industry, the only way 
the word is going to get out is for you 
to tell anyone who will listen that cancer 
is easy to cure. Any cancer. And with 
no drugs. No ehemtx No radiation. No 
surgery. And I mean cure, not remission! 

This veil of secrecy has been killing 
in ill ions of people. 

No, I'm not an MD. Hell, if I was I 
wouldn't dare make such a statement ... 
Vd lose my license in a wink. But I do 
believe in the work of Drs. Lorraine Day, 
Bruno Comby, Henry Bieler, and a bunch 
of others who are never mentioned in the 
medical schools or medical press. 

It's all explained in my Secret Guide 
to Health. 

Over half a million Americans are 
dying every year of cancer. And when 
cancer strikes, the victims learn soon 
enough that it's incurable ... that the 
best they can hope for is remission. 
What a crock! But not one in ten or a 
hundred thousand will ever make any 
effort to look into the situation and do 
any research. The public's belief in doctors 
is almost total. 

If any cancer victims you meet don't 
even want to look at my book, maybe 
you can get them to call 800-574-2437 
and get Dr. Day's video, "Cancer Doesn't 
Scare Me Anymore T Yes, she's a "real" 

With the medical cabal making an av- 
erage of $345,000 per cancer case, news of 
how easy it is to totally cure any cancer 
with no drugs could cost the industry 
hundreds of billions, 

Didja see the "50 Minutes" segment 

where an AIDS patient was spending 
$6,000 a month lor a drug that made her 
feel better? I sure wish someone would 
clue her in that AIDS is as easy to cure 
as cancer. Dr, Combv in Paris has been 
doing it for years using the same raw 
food approach as Dr. Day, as explained 
in my book, 

The American Cancer Society 

One of the guests on the Art Bell show 
pointed out that of the 3400 million they 
get a year, less than 5% goes to patient 
care. 61%, he said, goes for salaries and 
perks, Further, they've never made one 
single advance in the treatment of cancer. 

We have the spectacle of Dr. Lorraine 
Day easily curing her "incurable" can- 
cer Ditto Dr. Bruno Combv and a few 
other renegades. And Dr. Henry Bieler 
curing one child with "incurable" leukemia 
after another. 

A hundred years ago cancer was al- 
most unknown in America, but the 
American diet then was totally different. 
We were a country of fanners, eating 
home grown potatoes, tomatoes, grain, 
raw milk, free range chickens and eses, 
and almost no sugar by today's norm. 

Cancer has gone from a rarity to caus- 
ing one out of three deaths by 1 985, one 
out of two now, and it's projected to 
reach everyone by 2020. 

Maybe you can start getting the word 
out about how easy cancer is to cure as 
long as people don't fall for the medical 
industry $345,000 chemotherapy or ra- 
diation to death routes — and how easy 
it is to prevent in the first place with a 
saner diet. 


Dentists who have been using dental 
amalgam for fillings were found to have 
four times the normal level of mercury 
in their bodies by researchers at the 
Glasgow Royal Infirmary. They also had 
more kidnev disorders and memory 
problems, My dentist, who helped load my 
mouth with mercury (since removed), died 
of Alzheimer's. 

And this is the stuff that, as a child, I 
played with and used to coat dimes. It 
turns out that its vapors are easily in- 
haled, and it also migrates through the 
skin to your brain. It takes from 15 to 
30 years for half of it to leave your body. 

It's been found to cause Alzheimer's, 
kidney dysfunction, multiple sclerosis, 
food allergies, impaired immune system, 
fatigue, poor memory, and psychologi- 
cal disorders. Mothers with mercury 
poisoning can expect birth defects in 
their children. 

Yet, with all this becoming common 
knowledge, many dentists are still using 
amalgam fillings and denying the long 
range health danger. 

If you still have any amalgam fillings, 
get 'ein replaced with plastic as soon as 

you can. 

Tora Bora 

Wow, we're semi-famous! D'ja see the 
report of a copy of 73 being found in one 
of the Taliban caves in Tora Bora, Af- 
ghanistan? Gee, I wonder if our guvs 
killed my subscriber? 

Senior Hams 

Well, if we can't attract the kids, then 
how about going after the geriatric 

Maybe you've read that older people 
are stressed by their isolation. HI had to 
depend on friends my age around here, 
I'd be stressed too, Most of my old 
friends are dead, John Peterson, who I 
used to go hunting and skiing with, died 
last year. 

When you have a ham station you 
definitely are not isolated. All I have to 

Continued on page 62 

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73 Amateur Radio Today ■ March 2003 43 

Crlendrr euents 

Listings are free of charge as space permits. Please send us your Calendar Event two months in 
advance of the issue you want it to appear in. For example, if you want it to appear in the 
June issue, we should receive it by March 31. Provide a clear, concise summary of the 
essential details about your Calendar Event. 


KNOXVILLE, TN The Shriners of Kerbefa 
ARS will sponsor their annual Kerbela Hamfest 
at Kerbela Temple, 315 Mimosa Ave M Knoxville 
TN. Admission is $5, Indoor vendor tables are 
$8 each plus admission of $5, Setup Friday 
from 4 to 8 p.m., and Saturday from 5 to 8 
a.m. Overnight security will be provided, Talk- 
in on 145.43 (-600), or 146,52 simplex, 
Smoking indoors is permitted in designated 
area only. Contact Paul Baird K3PB, 1500 
Coulter Shoals Cir, t Lenoir City TN 37772, 
Phone 865-986-9562. 

MAR 8, 9 

CHARLOTTE, NC The Mecklenburg ARS 
proudly announces the 2003 Charlotte 
Hamfest and Computerfair. It will be held at 
the Charlotte Merchandise Mart, 2500 E. 
Independence Blvd. (US 74), Charlotte NC S on 
March 8th and 9th, Commercial dealers will 
be in Freedom Hall, The flea market will be in 
Independence Hall. Doors open 8:30 a.m. to 
5 p.m. Saturday, and 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
Sunday. Ail the top manufacturers will be 
represented. Major equipment dealers, tons 
of great prizes, VE exams, ladies 1 programs, 
forums, new and used radio and computer 
equipment. Meet FCC's Riley Hollingsworth 
and a NASA shuttle astronaut. Tickets are $8 
at the door for both days, $6 in advance or for 
just Sunday. Kids 12 and under admitted free. 
Flea market tables at S22 each are good for 
both days. Pre-paid parking S3, good for both 
days. Talk-in on 145,29 W4BFB rptr. For more 
details check the Web site at [], 
or call Torn Hunt KA3VVJ, 704-948-7373. 
Dealers may E-mail to []. 
For table reservations E-mail to [fteamarket® 
w4bfb.orgl Pre-registration tickets and table 
orders may be sent to Charlotte Hamfest, P.O. 
Box 669, Cornetius NC 28031-0669, Be sure 
to include an SASE! 

MAR 9 

AMHERST, MA The M.TARA 18th Annual 
Amateur Radio Hamfest will be held Sunday, 
March 9th at Amherst Regional Middle School, 
170 Chestnut St, Amherst MA. Directions: 
From Mass Pike Exit 4: take Rte. 91 North to 
Exit 19, Rte. 9, Take Rte. 9 to Amherst Center. 
At the light in Amherst Center take a left. 
Proceed through several lights, pass Bank on 
right (just past the bank). Turn right on 

44 73 Amateur Radio Today • March 2003 

Chestnut St. (not Chestnut Court), and 
proceed to Amherst Regional Middle School 
on the left. There will be help unloading and 
loading. Tailgating, no stairs, handicapped 
parking, a snack bar, and 120 VAC available. 
Doors open 7 a.m. for vendors, 9 a.m. for 
bargain hunters. Admission §5 for adults, 
children under 1 2 free. Tailgating $5, 8 ft. tables 
$15 each. VE exams at 10 a.m. Space limited, 
pre-registration strongly recommended. To 
register, contact Dave Cote WA1DC, [wa1dc@ 
arri.netl Bring two forms of positive ID, with 
originals and photocopies of any CSCEs you 
hold. If licensed, bring your original license and 
a photocopy. Walk-ins will be accepted, but 
only as seating permits! For commercial 
license testing, GROL, GMDSS-O/M, ship 
radar, etc. r contact Steve N1SR at 413-593- 
6554, Leave name, phone number, and 
desired license. Talk-in on the 146.940 MHz 
MJL Tom rptr. and KDIXFs rptr. 145.130 MHz 
PL 123.0 Hz, 

MAR 15 

SCOTTSDALE, AZ The Scottsdale ARC will 
sponsor a hamfest starting at 6 a.m. on March 
15th at Scottsdale Community College, 101 
North ■ exit Chaparral Rd., 9000 E. Chaparral 
Rd., Scottsdale AZ. Parking S2. Tables S10. 
Self contained RV parking. VE exams. 
Refreshments. Talk-in on 147.18. Contact Ed 
Nickerson WU7S r 902 North 73rd Place, 
Scottsdale AZ 85257. Phone 480-949-5162. 
E-mail to [enickerson427@aoLcom]. 

MAR 16 

JEFFERSON, Wl The Tri-County ARC will 
host "Hamfest 2003\ Sunday, March 16th, at 
the Jefferson County Fairgrounds Activity 
Center, Hwy. 18 West, Jefferson Wl. Open to 
the public from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m, VE exams 
start at 9 a.m. Vendors will be admitted at 7 
a.m. Vendors-only parking will be provided for 
unloading. Food and beverages will be 
available. Talk-in on the 145.49 rptr. Admission 
$4, 8 ft. table space @ $6 each. Reserve your 
space early! Contact TCARG, 213 Frederick 
St t Fort Atkinson Wl 53538. Call 920-563- 
6381 evenings. Fax 920-563-9551. E-mail 
[]. The Website 
is at []. 

MAR 22 


and Misslssauga ARC will host a hamfest on 
March 22nd at the Brampton Fall Fairgrounds. 
Take Hwy. 410 north until it becomes Heart 
Lake Rd. just past Bovalrd Dr Continue 
northward 7.5 km (4.6 mi) to Old School Rd. 
The fairgrounds are on the southwest comer, 
This event will feature amateur radio 
equipment manufacturers, major commercial 
vendors, new and used radio/computer 
electronics equipment and parts, VE exams, 
DXCC card checking, seminars, exhibits and 
demonstrations. There will also be a gala 
banquet and prizes, Guest speaker will be Jim 
Dean, VP, Radio Amateurs of Canada, Doors 
open to vendors at 7 a.m., and to the public 
ffea market 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Exhibits, 
demonstrations and seminars will be 
presented 9 a.m. to 5 p,m. Admission $C 6; 
vendor tables $C 25 and $C 30 (6 ft. and 8 
ft.). Includes one free admission per table. Talk- 
in on VE3PRC 146.880(-) and VE3MIS 
145.430(-). Check the Web site at [http://] for more info. E-mail to [ham- Phone Victoria 905-846- 

MAR 23 

MADISON, OH The Lake County ARA will be 
holding it's 25th annual Hamfest/Computerfest 
on March 23rd, from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the 
Madison High School, 3100 Burns Rd., 
Madison OH + Great bargains on new and used 
amateur radio equipment, computer and 
various other types of electronic equipment. 
There will also be hourly door prize drawings, 
craft demonstrations and VE exams. 
Admission tickets are $5 and may be 
purchased at the door. Tables are $8 each for 
6 ft. or S15 for two 6 ft tables; $10 for an 8 ft. 
table. Call Roxanne at 4 40-209-8953 for table 
reservations, or E-mail her at [roxanne @icara. 
org] for any other questions. 

MAR 29 

ST. PAUL, WIN The Robbinsdale ARC, Inc. 
will hold their Midwinter Madness® Hobby 
Electronics Show Saturday March 29th from 
7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Ganglehoff Center, 235 
Hamline Ave,, on the Concordia University 
Campus in St. Paul MN. Concordia University 
is located off Interstate 94 near Hamline and 
Marshall Midwinter Madness has commercial 
vendors selling new items in the line of 

Continued on page 59 

On the Go 

Mobile, Portable and Emergency Operation 

Sieve Nowak KE8YN/7 

804 Bonanza Trail 
Cheyenne WY 82009 

Continuing Education: 
Emergency Communications on the Go 

In many professions, there is a requirement to participate in continuing education in order 
to maintain your certification or license. In amateur radio we are also engaged in a dynamic 
technology, and there are certain benefits to continuing our education in our hobby as welL 

My professional field is in radiology, 
and although 1 have been in the man- 
agement end as opposed to ihe clinical arena 
for many years, I keep my license and na- 
tional registration current in both radiogra- 
phy and magnetic resonance imaging. This 
means that I must complete a minimum 
24 hours of approved continuing education 
every two years to be able to maintain my 
status as a Radiologic Technologist. (Trivia 
note: Since the early 1950s the correct title 
has been Radiologic Technologist. People 
who refer to X-Ray Technicians are over a 
half century out of date,) On one hand, it 
might be argued that with nearly thirty years 
in the field my experience should be fairly 
extensive and I should have a pretty good 
understanding of it. On the other hand, 
during my career, healthcare has added 
Computerized Tomography (CT or CAT 
Scan), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) ; 
and Positron Emission Tomography (PET 
Scan). The requirement for continuing edu- 
cation has ensured that I stay up-to-date in 
my own clinical areas, as well as learn about 
the new and emerging technologies. 

Amateur radio is also a technologically 
oriented field with many enhancements over 
the twenty years that Fve been licensed. 
While the International Morse Code hasn't 
changed, we've added many new modes, 
particularly in the digital realm. The brick- 
size handie-talkie that my Elmer used has 
given way to much smaller multiband com- 
puterized HTs with mure features than 1 
could have imagined back in the early '80s. 
I remember amazing people by bringing up 
a phone patch with my first HT. Today that 
would only rate a yawn, but only if 1 could 
get the other person to put their cell phone 
down for a minute or two. The world and 
our hobby have changed phenomenally, 
and that's why we're beginning to see a 

movement toward continuing education in 
amateur radio. 

The American Radio Relay League is the 
driving force behind this movement. 
Whether you love the League or hate it, you 
have to admit that they have given the hobby 
some tools that we otherwise would never 
have enjoyed. Continuing education is 
one such offering. While many hams read 
voraciously to keep up on the great new 
technology (known to our spouses as toys), 
there is something to be said for a struc- 
tured approach to learning. A structured 
educational process attempts to ensure that 
certain topics are presented in a certain way 
so that the learner acquires certain skills or 
concepts that may not have been present be- 
fore. Pilot's training, for example, is geared 
to teaching the student all the skills essen- 
tia] for a safe flight under routine conditions. 
It also provides a framework so that others 
engaged in the same endeavors have a 
reasonable idea as to what others' level 
of training is. It kind of lets you know what 
to expect when dealing with someone new 
if you know what training they've had. 

With the state of the world today, one of 
the key sets of skills that amateur radio 
operators can be expected to have are those 
relating to emergency communications. 
With as near and dear as this topic is to my 
heart, I think it was an excellent idea for 
the ARRL to offer this as a continuing 
education course. 

There arc actually three courses on 
emergency communications that the 
ARRL offers. The first course is aimed at 
amateur radio operators who expect to be 
called upon to provide communications in 
an emergency. The Level II course devel- 
ops net management skills for those who 
want to participate as net control stations 
and net managers. The third level is aimed 

at those who manage emergency commu- 
nications at all levels. 

I had the opportunity to take the Ama- 
teur Radio Emergency Communications 
Level I over the past few weeks. The course 
is handled on line through the Connecticut 
Distance Learning Consortium, and is kind 
of like going to school over the Web. To 
enroll in a course, you can go to the 
League's home page lhtlp;//www t arrLorg] 
and search for AREC. Or you can go di- 
rectly to [ 
html], which will give you a description of 
each course and enrollment information. 
Tliere is a cost associated with the courses, 
although all materials are provided via the 
Web. Each level of the course costs $45 for 
ARRL members and $75 for nonmembers. 
Upon submission of your application and 
fees, you'll receive instructions by E-mail 
on how to access the Web site and how to 
start the course. 

Each student is assigned a mentor who 
will help him through the course. Mine, Jim 
Stalzer WJ0S, provided guidance, insight, 
and encouragement during the process. In 
my case the course began in mid-Novem- 
ber, and radiology has a major weeklong 
trade show that starts the weekend after 
Thanksgiving. When he didn't see the ac- 
tivity that would be expected, he gave me a 
gentle nudge to make sure that I was on 
schedule. The mentor is a key element to 
this course and its success, acting more as a 
guide and sounding board than an instructor. 

There are twenty learning units. Each 
is the equivalent of about five to ten pages 
and covers key concepts of emergency 
communications. There are significant 
references listed at the end of each unit from 
such sources as the Federal Emergency 

Continued on page 6 J 
73 Amateur Radio Today • March 2003 45 


Low Power Operation 

Geriatric Care for the Argonaut 

Mike Bryce WE8VGE 

SunLight Energy Systems 

955 Manchester Ave, SW 

North Lawrence OH 44666 

[prosolar® sssnetcom] 

It's hard not to mention the Ten-Tec Argonaut 509 when talking about QRP, For years it's been 
the standard by which other radios have been judged. 

But the 509 is getting old. Some of the 
early models are approaching 25- 

years-old + If you own a 509, you' II find this 
installment of the QRP column your cup of 

What goes wrong? 


Besides the usual problems of dried 
out capacitors and carbon resistors 
changing values, there's no one single 
problem that appears to be common to 
the 509* 

One problem you will see in all of the 
older Argonaut-series QRP transceivers 
is loose or broken dial strings. Replac- 
ing the dial string is not hard, but get- 
ting to it can be a challenge. You must 
completely strip the radio down to get 
to the subpanel that houses the dial 
string, It's not hard to do, but I must 
warn those with weak hearts, it can be 

Before you get started tearing into the 
509, call Ten-Tec and order a dial string 

Photo A. The crystal filter used by the 509 is shown here. 
46 73 Amateur Radio Today • March 2003 

rebuild kit. It contains everything you 
need to restring the transceiver. As a 
matter of fact, they're not very expen- 
sive — order two and keep one in the 
junk box. 

And although IT) be talking about the 
Ten-Tec 509, the same procedure holds 
true for the Ten-Tec 505 QRP trans- 
ceiver and the Ten-Tec 515 transceiver. 
As a matter of fact, even the Ten-Tec 
Century 22 and the original Ten-Tec 
Argosy use the same basic steps in dial 
string replacement. 

The first step in getting to that dial 
siring is to remove all the front knobs. 
Make sure you have the right tools to get 
the knobs off. Some have set screws, oth- 
ers have Allen screws, and then some 
knobs push on. After you have all the 
knobs removed, place them in a warm 
bath of mild soap and water. Let *em soak 
for an hour or so to remove the dirt and 
crud. Wash them off with clear water and 
towel dry. You'll be amazed how much 
dirt can accumulate 1 on those knobs! 

Now, remove die 
two end pieces. 
There are several 
screws holding each 
into the aluminum 
chassis. Before you 
can remove the two 
end panels, there is 
an aluminum brace 
bar that runs from 
one panel to the 
other. This guy is 
located at the very 
top of the radio. 
You'll need a long 
screwdriver to reach 
the single screw on 
either side. 

Once you have 

the end pieces removed, place them down 
on a soft cloth. This will prevent them 
from picking up scratches to the walnut 

With the end panels off, there are but 
a few more screws holding the front 
panel on. To get the front panel off, 
break out the hollow shaft nut drivers 
and remove the hardware around the 
controls. For goodness' sake, use the 
nut drivers and not a pair of pliers to 
remove the nuts, A slip of the pliers will 
send a scratch across the panel, leav- 
ing a deep gouge in its wake. Use the 
correct tools! 

Carefully remove the front panel. 
Now, if you're lucky, the dial string will 
simply be worn out and not broken, The 
elastic cord routes over and under the 
pulleys. The elastic cord is fastened 
down via a solder lug just about under 
the main VFO tuning shaft. 

It's almost always the clastic cord 
that causes the problems with the dial 
on the 509. The elastic cord loses elas- 
ticity and the pointer droops when you 
tune towards the low end of the band. 
Sometimes the droop is so bad the 
pointer falls down. 

When I replace the clastic cord, I nor- 
mally don't mess with the dial string. 
The elastic cord is fastened to the slide 
pointer using a granny knot. The dial 
string is left alone. Now, having said 
that, if you have purchased the restring 
kit from Ten-Tec, you might as well 
install a new dial string along with a 
new elastic cord. 

Before you start removing the elas- 
tic cord and string, make a drawing of 
how the string and cord wrap around! the 
various pulleys. This simple step can 
save you hours and hours of work later 

Photo B> The main tuning knob has been installed* Nonce the 

lamps are on and the S-meter is working. I was working with the Photo C. The main resonate rack. Just a dab of grease on the area 

rig in this condition. that moves up and down. 

Since you now have the front panel off, 
carefully power up the radio and verify that 
the two dial lamps are working. If not, Uien 
replace them. 

Some other tidbits before you 
reassemble the radio 

Before you reinstall the front panel and 
end panels, flip the radio over so you can 
see the rear end. The front end tuning rack 
i^ now fully exposed. Check the front and 
rear bushing tor grease. If your unit is dry, 
apply ever so slight a dab of niul it purpose 
grease. I use bicycle grease. Radio Shuck 
sells some multipurpose electronic grease, 
too. Remember, and this is very impor- 
tant, only a very, very small amount is 
needed. Too much will really muck up the 

Some last minute touch-ups 
Since you already have the radio torn 

apart, take some lime and remove, one 
at a time, the plug-in boards. All you 
want to do is remove the two screws 
holding the board down. Then carefully 
pry up the hoard. NexK reset the hoard 
back down Into its socket. This breaks 
up any oxidation on the pins and sock- 
ets. Pay attention to how the board goes 

into the socket, You can ea>il\ set it 

> i. 

turned ISO degrees around and then 
you* ve really had it! 

There is no need to use contact 
cleaner here. You should not even think 
of using any cleaner with solvents in it 
on the chassis. 

After you have reset the PC boards, it's 
time to reassemble the 509, Just reverse 
the process you used to tear it apart and 
you should have no trouble. 

You may have noticed, in some of the 
photographs of the front panel of my 
50M. that the meter is reading S7. Well. 

as I was replacing the dial »tring on my 
radio 1 had it setting on the MFDCARS 
frequency of 7.258. Of course I had to 
check into the service, and was given a 
S9+ report. Not bad for QRP and a radjo 
spread all over the workbench! 

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Photo I). Notice how the string is run between the two pulleys. 

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73 Amateur Radio Today • March 2003 47 

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48 73 Amateur Radio Today * March 2003 

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73 Amateur Radio Today * March 2003 49 

Homing in 

Radio Direction Finding 

JoeMoell P.E. K0OV 

P.O. Box 2508 

Fullerton CA 92837 



True Dopplers and Comical T- 

Last month's "Homing In ?f took you on a journey that started with Christian Doppler's birth 
almost exactly two centuries ago. While trying to understand color changes in double stars, 
this astronomer/physicist was the first to document the apparent frequency shift of waves 
when source and observer are in relative motion. 

Doppler radio direction finding (RDF) 
sets for ham radio came along in 1 978, 
adapted from a spinning antenna scheme 
thai was first proposed just after the Sec- 
ond World War, This month, we'll clear up 



Fc + S 





Fig. |, As a vertical antenna element moves rapidly on a circular 
track, the Doppler shift imposes art FM tone on received signals. 
Peak FM deviation of the tone (S in Hz) is a function of signal fre- 
quency (Fc in MHz), circular rotation rale (Fr in Hz), and radius 
of the circular track (R in inches), according to the formula. 
50 73 Amateur Radio Today * March 2003 

some misconceptions about antennas that 
produce Doppler shift without physical 

In a typical VHF/UHF Doppler RDF an- 
tenna unit, three or more whips or vertical 

dipoles are equally 
spaced along the cir- 
cumference of an 
imaginary horizontal 
circle. An electronic 
switch connects them 
to the receiver one at 
a time in sequence, 
for equal periods of 
time. This simulates 
a single whip moving 
along the imaginary 
circle at a physically 
impossible high rate 
of speed, sufficient 
to provide periodic 
Doppler frequency 
shifts in all incoming 

Many hams con- 
fuse the rotation fre- 
quency, the Doppler 
tone frequency, and 
the tone's frequency 
deviation, all of 
which are stated m 
Hertz (Hz), The ar- 
ray rotation rate 
(number of times 
that each whip is 
sequenced on in a 
second) is always 
the same as the fun- 
damental frequency 
of the induced Dop- 
pler tone. Typical 
rotation rates range 

from 300 to 1000 Hz, corresponding to the 
audio passhand of narrowhand FM voice 
receivers. Higher rates are avoided because 
they produce audio harmonics that may be 
interpreted as noise by the receiver's squelch 

Peak FM deviation of the Doppler tone 
is given by the formula in Fig. 1. For best 
performance, deviation must be high 
enough that the tone can be easily detected 
and its phase determined when the signal 
isn't full-quieting and when voice or other 
modulation is present. A four-element set 
widi whips in an 1 8-inch square, switched at 
500 revolutions per second, produces peak 
Doppler tone deviation of about 0.5 kHz, 

The bottom of Fig. 1 illustrates the sinu- 
soidal waveform that would be produced in 
an FM receiver discriminator by a single 
moving vertical antenna. Fig* 2 is an oscil- 
loscope trace of the audio output of the FM 
receiver in a typical four- whip Doppler 
setup. Signal wavefront phase changes that 
are presented to the receiver as the antenna 
elements are sequentially switched show up 
here as periodic pulses. All of the informa- 
tion necessary to determine signal bearing 
is contained in the amplitude, polarity, and 
timing of these pulses. TIil' rise and fall 
slopes of the pulses and the tb tilt M between 
them are functions of the frequency re- 
sponse of the audio stages, and are incon- 
sequential. Note the large pulses of opposite 
polarity when switching to antennas #1 and 
#3, and die very small jumps at #2 and #4, 
From this, we can tell that the incoming sig- 
nal direction is approximately perpendicular 
to an imaginary line through antennas #1 
and #2. 

A frequency domain analysis of the au- 
dio of Fig. 2 looks like Fig. 3. The funda- 
mental frequency (474 Hz in this case, same 

as the rotation rate) is the only component 
of interest for bearing determination. The 
array of harmonics comes about because of 
the switching steps of the audio. If you have 
encountered Fourier series in a maih class, 
you'll recognize the characteristic decreas- 
ing harmonic values. Note that only odd- 
numbered harmonics are present ( ] 422 Hz, 
2370 Hz, 33 1 8 Hz, and so forth). Changing 
the number of evenly spaced whips will 
change the relative levels of the odd har- 
monics, but will not add any even harmon- 
ics to the tone spectrum* This is important, 
as we will see in a later installment of this 

In a practical Doppler set, a very narrow 
audio bandpass filter (as low as 2 Hz band- 
width) is synchronized to the antenna ro- 
tation rate. Because it is locked to the 
fundamental frequency of the Fourier series, 
this filter strips out the upper harmonics as 
well as the unwanted noise and modulation 
on the incoming signal. The output is a sine 
wave (like Fig, 1) with just the RDF infor- 
mation we want (relative phase) on it It's 
nearly indistinguishable from what would 
be achieved with an infinite number of 
whips, which explains why it's possible to 
have high bearing accuracy with just three 
or four whip antennas. 

Just like the movies 

Despite the above explanation and the 
good performance of Doppler RDF sets, 
some hams have trouble accepting the con- 
cept of a few sequenced vertical antennas 
taking the place of a single vertical antenna 
moving in a circular pattern. This was the 
topic of considerable debate on an Internet 
discussion group for transmitter hunters 
about six years ago. Some writers claimed 
that it is impossible for switched verticals 
to produce "true Doppler" response. But no 
matter what you choose to call them, they 
do indeed follow Doppler's principle and 
the equations derived from it. 

For those having trouble thinking this 
through, I suggested an intermediate step. 
Consider the theoretical case of an infinite 
number of individual whips and a perfect 
switching system in place of the single 
moving whip. This is the same piecewise 
approximation technique used in the calcu- 
lus. There are tiny phase steps added to the 
received signal every time the switch oper- 
ates, creating an infinite-step sinusoidal 
Doppler-induced carrier shift in the receiver 
discriminator output, identical to the physi- 
cally rotating whip case. Dopplcr's fre- 
quency shift prediction still exactly 
describes the frequency changes that the 
receiver perceives. 

Now reduce the number of whips from 
infinity to a practical number. This reduces 
the number of pieces in the piecewise ap- 
proximation of one rotation from infinity 
to the number of whips. The receiver's dis- 
criminator output still includes phase jumps 
corresponding to antenna switching steps, 
but they are fewer in number and greater in 
amplitude. The phase information necessary 
to determine our RDF bearing is still present 
in the fundamental frequency term of this 
series. The harmonic content is greater and 
more filtering is required than in a million- 
whip array, but our narrow bandpass filter 
strips all the harmonics out. 

Some members of the Internet discussion 
group were still troubled about all the simu- 
lated antenna movement being encoded in 
very brief phase jumps, while the rest of 
the time one antenna is connected to the 
receiver. But the important thing to remem- 
ber is that it's the combination of both the 
jumps and plateaus (switching and sitting 
times) that simulates the motion. When you 
watch a movie, you are seeing a series of 
still photos (frames) that snap from one to 
another with rapid transitions, It is the com- 
bination of transitions and still frames thai 
the viewer perceives as smooth motion. The 
eye and brain act as a filter, just as the fil- 
tering in the Doppler set. If you were to 
eliminate either the still frames or the transi- 
tions, then the simulation of smooth motion 
on the screen would be lost. Similarly, the 
combination of both the phase steps ajid the 
plateaus in between creates the waveform 
that the narrowband filter uses to extract the 
Doppler data with high accuracy, 

With this explanation, almost everyone 
in the group was convinced. Then one writer 
pointed out that the peak amplitudes of 
phase jumps in the receiver output are not 
affected by the array rotation rate. Ampli- 
tudes remain the same because the phase 
steps are a function of the number of elements 
and direction of signal only. They remain 
the same number of electrical degrees when 
the rate changes. This appears contrary to 
the Doppler equation of Fig. I, from which 
increasing the rotation rate (Fr) should always 
cause increases in the deviation amplitude 
(S). Does that mean that it isn't a true 
Doppler after all? 

This writer's incorrect conclusion came 
about because he contused phase modula- 
tion (PM) with frequency modulation (FM). 
They are similar forms of angular modulation, 
related mathematically but not identical. An 
FM signal's deviation is a function of only 
the amplitude of its modulating waveform, 
and is independent of the modulation fre- 
quency. PM deviation is a function of both 

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73 Amateur Radio Today * March 2003 51 

Fig, 2, Audio output waveform of a re- 
ceiver with a typical four-whip Doppler 
set in operation. 

the amplitude and frequency of the modulat- 
ing waveform. In PJVL the higher the modu- 
lating wave's amplitude and/or frequency, the 
greater the deviation, 

A quick bit of history: In 1936, before 
phase-locked loops and other modern direct- 
FM producing techniques, it wasn't possible 
to achieve distortion-free high deviation 
in stable oscillators. So Edwin Armstrong 

invented an indirect method of transmitting 
VHF-FM. A crystal osci Ilator was followed 
by a "serrasoid" phase modulator, and then 
by several doubler and tripler stages that 
also conveniently multiplied the deviation, 

Armstrong's method directly varied the 
phase of the RF signal, which indirectly 
varied the frequency. By shaping the audio 
to be transmitted prior to applying it to the 
phase modulation stage (increasing the 
levels of low frequencies at a 6 dB per 
octave slope), his transmitter's output was 
indistinguishable from that of a direct-FM 
transmitter. Phase modulators with audio 
processing to achieve FM were standard for 
many years. These circuits were in the trans- 
mitter of the FM broadcast station that I 
tended in college and in the VHF/UHF 
business-band rigs that we converted to ham 
frequencies in those days. 

If we increase the switching speed of a 
Doppler array, the phase changes and thus 
the voltage peaks in the discriminator out- 
put do indeed remain the same for each jump 
in a cycle of rotation. The induced PM level 
on the signal has not changed. But since we 
have increased the rotation frequency and 
hence increased the frequency of all tone 
components coming out of the discriminator, 
the equivalent FM signal being detected 

Window:' Hamming- -*** j FFT pointr 512 

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Frequency 474 Hz, amplitude -8.1 dB 

■ --■■■- ■ ■■ ■ ■■ ■ - ■■ 

, ^„ , y »»iip— » »rmw ». n »»» » »». 

Fig. 3. Frequency components in the audio output of a typical four-whip Doppler. 
52 73 Amateur Radio Today * March 2003 

does indeed have proportionally greater 
deviation. So the Doppler equation is indeed 
being followed, and we do have a true 
Doppler RDF set after all. 

How many whips? 

No matter how many vertical elements in 
your Doppler array, the adjacent elements 
along the rotation circle must not be more 
than 1/2 free-space wavelength apart, to 
avoid ambiguous bearings due to phase 
steps of greater than 180 degrees. Further- 
more, adjacent element spacings of greater 
than 1/4 wavelength will produce phase 
steps of more than 90 degrees, lowering the 
level of the recovered audio tone and wors- 
ening the signal-to-noise ratio. With that in 
mind, the optimum spacing for a four-whip 
"square" mobile array for VHF or UHF is 
slightly less than 1/4 wavelength on a side 
at the highest frequency to be used. For two 
meters, that is about 1 8 inches on a side. 

Would eight elements be an improve- 
ment? It would reduce the harmonic content 
of the recovered Doppler tone, but that 
wouldn't be noticed with a good 2 Hz 
bandpass filter. More whips in the same size 
array would mean closer spacing and thus 
more RF coupling between them. That 
would be detrimental to performance in areas 
of high signal reflections, as we'll see in a 
future installment. So in practice, the dif- 
ference in performance between four- whip 
and eight-whip Dopplers of the same array 
size usually isn't significant. 

On the odier hand, for a fixed Installation 
such as your home rooftop where plenty of 
space is available, or for a car-top array at 
UHF or microwaves, the added complexity 
of more elements in a larger array allows 
you to improve performance by increasing 
the overall array size (aperture). Consider a 
two-meter eight- whip array in an octagon 
pattern of 18 inches per side (i.e., the same 
adjacent whip spacing as the typical four- 
whip Doppler). Radius of rotation is more 
than double that of the four-whip set, giving 
over 1 kHz. Doppler tone deviation at the same 
rotation rate. The array aperture is more than 
doubled, which improves performance in 

The downside is that this array has a 
diameter of almost 4-1/2 feet, so it won't 
fit on most vehicles. Furthermore, you 
would need 7-1/2 feet total diameter to 
provide ground plane under the whips. 
But a similar size (in wavelengths) array for 
the 70 cm band (440 MHz) would be only 
2-1/2 feet diameter, which is practical. 

A final caution: The equal spacing of 

Continued on page 62 

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[KB7NO © 


New home of The Chart 

A New Definition for "Narrow": SSTV within MFSK! 

Advances in the digital art are surfacing rapidly, By the time you read this the narrowband 
SSTV described here will have been added upon to such a degree that this article will take on 
the appearance of a Stone Age review. But, you can always say you saw it here first 

This is being written just after Christmas 
2002, There are two reasons to men- 
tion the timing. First, there was an interesting 
Subject Line on the MixW message reflector 
where this new mode was introduced that 
announced, "Merry Christmas." It was well 
timed as a "gift' 1 from Nick UT2UZ. The 
second is, as I mentioned, that the informa- 
tion in this article will be pretty much out 
of date in a very short few months. 

To get right to the point, we now have a 
narrowband SSTV mode that is legal in the 
digital portions of the ham bands, at least 
as far as has been interpreted. The only 
clutter that will result is that there are going 
to be so many users, we will soon be stand- 
ing in line for a turn to transmit. Well, that 
is an exaggeration I am sure, but I found it 
quite easy to initiate my first two contacts 
to experiment with the mode. 

What is needed is the latest version of the 
MixW software, starting with the beta pack- 
age MixW2.06xj, which was the release on 
Christmas Day. It has a cost, but it is the 
same as it ever has been, $50 US. To ex- 
plain, if you paid once, you have paid for 
all the updates with that one-time charge. 
One other quick point for those unaware: 
The noncrippled demo version can be had 
for a free download, 

I have read complaints that JPEG files 
would not work and, as of this early usage, 
1 had four JPEG files and four bitmap files 
and the only success was with the bitmap 
files. Someone offered the opinion that this 
was because of some system abnormality. 
The image shown in the screenshot here was 
claimed to be a JPEG. So there is somewhat 
of a learning curve as yet. We will have to 
watch and see how this plays out. There was 
an early rumor there would soon be a color 

What is important is that it works. 

Whatever bugs that surface will be dealt 
with as usual. The other interesting tiling is 
the mode hit the streets and suddenly ev- 
eryone seemed to know how to use it. The 
strange part about that is up until this writ- 
ing and after using it myself, I have not seen 
any color-by-the-numbers for setting up for 
the mode. 

That means the process is easy and intui- 
tive. I got some hints from the reflector 
about a <PIC> macro and some suggestions 
about which was the best way to use it. Then 
1 looked in the list of macro commands that 
come in the program and <PIC> wasn't 
listed. Of course I tried it anyway and it 

I think evervone else who was fascinated 
by the idea followed similar steps. There 
was mention on the MixW reflector about 
approximate dimensions and that the images 
needed to be in black and white. Quite a 
few of us have graphics software to facili- 
tate these conversions from regular digital 
images we have stored. 

So, this was really easy. In my case, there 
was no outlay of cash to get into the MFSK 
picture-sending frenzy and have some fun. 
That is what I did. I realized after making 
the screenshot that my log demonstrated this 
to be my second venture into the mode. If 
you read it carefully, you will discover there 
were at least two days between those two 

contacts. ! 

Some of the lime was devoted to other 
real-time projects (somewhat related), and 
a portion of the delay was caused as I went 
through images and organized a few and 
assigned them to individual macro buttons. 
The result was to see what the difference 
was between the JPEG and the bitmap for- 
mats, and I could choose them on the fly. 
This did not cure all my clumsiness, but 
saves other operators from waiting for mc 
to find images. 

I did it the Hard Way first 

There are other issues, such as another 
way to use the <PIC> macro, I went with 
the straightforward method of writing a 
macro to fetch a specific file from a spe- 
cific directory (folder). That is, I made a 
directory, C:\NarSSTVImag, with the doc- 
tored images residing within. So, the first 
macro I wrote was <PIC:\NarSSTVImag\ 


You can see why I chose to write sepa- 
rate macros for each image (length — hard 
to do this on the fly). Incidentally, this macro 
is written correctly but would not transmit, 
but the macro in the button next to it is the 
same image in bitmap form, extender .bnip, 
and it flies just fine. 

I learned to "go with the flow" 

In the end, at least at this writing (it keeps 
evolving as I write), the newest and easiest 
to use macro is <PIC7N>. With this macro 
in place, all you do is evoke it and the main 
MixW directory is displayed with only the 
graphics files. To be clear, this means you 
must store your images in the MixW direc- 
tory (folder) to use this method. This allows 
you to click on any tile and a thumbnail is 
displayed so you are sure of content; then 
double click and it is in place to transmit. 

As this is being written, I checked and 
already someone had found the reason why 
the above JPEG file type would not trans- 
mit. It was a converted file using the Paint 
Shop Pro software to convert from color to 
gray scale which appears as black and white. 
The author of the fix I just found said he 
had discovered the working solution is to 
"decolorize" the pictures using the same 
program. He gave an explanation, but I will 
leave that to those who enjoy discussing 

73 Amateur Radio Today * March 2003 53 


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Fig, L NBSSTV over MFSK! Some real fun with images where you never expected to use 
them. The frequency was at I4M80.5, The mode is MFSK, but the difference is the black 
and white image to the right of the screenshot — under the world map — was received 
using this mode. This was one of the first few QSOs ! had in this mode and it was learn- 
ing time, hut it was working and with no real instructions. The method is fairly simple, 
see the text Note the little icons in the text fields. These appear as you load an image and 
when it begins to transmit. At the time of this shot, I was sending an image. If you will. 
look to the bottom left comer you will see the message, "Transmitted 12%. H It lakes 
about the same amount of time to send an image in this mode as by regular SSTV. Alt you 
need is for both stations to have the same software, and there are plenty of hams in the 
action already at this writing. You won *t have a problem finding someone to try it out on. 
And if you do not already have a copy ofMLxW, the 15 day noncrippled download is free. 
When vou try it, vou are hooked! 

Speaking of the learning curve, the users 
are the best source of information. D urine 
the QSO shown in the screenshot. Andrew 
sent hack one of inv images and 1 mentioned 
I had no idea how to save the image for re- 
turn as he had. He explained simply all that 
was necessary was to click Ihe little emblem 
in the upper left corner of the SSTV screen 
and follow the directions. From there it is 
automatically saved to the MixW file by 
default. Thinss a guv can leani if he will 
but ask. 

In the regular SSTV software there are 
opportunities to save images in a similar and 

^. ,..,... 'ii«™i,« 

Where m: 



ltt^ 4 i/kb7iuiiooie.altB0t 


usually automated manner. In this MixW 
method, you can gather images or not bother 
with them, your choice. The only real prob- 
lem with saving them is remembering to 
delete them before sheer clutter sets in. 

All in all T must say this is the regular 
ham way to have fun. Spend a minimum of 
bucks, if any, and jump into the middle of 
the action. No one is upset if you blow a 
few transmissions, Other users will do their 
best to help you get it right the next time, 
hopefully before the end of the QSO. 

The other end of 
the SSTV spectrum 

There is another new mode out that I have 
not as yet had the time to experience. I stuck 
in the little heading about the other end of the 
spectrum after having given the Narrowband 
SSTV a plug thai included low cost- You are 
not to believe this next item is pricey by con- 
trast. It is die idea of, believe this (it is diffi- 
cult to think about). High Definition SSTV, 
and it is freeware. 

Whew! That becomes a mind twister 
when you think of it in the terms of ham 
modes we are accustomed to using, If you 
want to see some truly great, about as flaw- 
less as you can imagine images, take a look 

at lhttp://home,att,net/-ronchap/hamhdtv7 

These images easily equal the quality of 
prints you see in the best slick magazines. 

The software for this is, as stated, free 
for the download. I downloaded and in- 
stalled this program. It can be found at the 
Web site where you download the SSTV- 
PAL and other such programs that you can 
link to from The Chart on my Web site. And 
there are others available from links to the 
above referenced URL. Even a Linux version 
is available. The only drawback I can read 
into the literature concerning this program 
is they say you should have a 2 GHz CPU 
for best results. Mine is a bit slower but 
when I find someone willing, I will make 
the test run. It is really worth a look and 
appears very simple to use, 

I got into too much of a rush 

And speaking of SSTV, I mentioned last 
month that it looked like the creators of 
ChromaPIX, Silicon Pixels, had packed 
their tenL Just after that message got sent 
to the magazine, I received word from an 
alert reader there is a new Web site, which I 
edited into The Chart So the link has been 
ready for some time before you read this 
and all is well. Another great software, of- 
ten referred to as the benchmark for SSTV 
software, is still with us. 

The Linux Project 

This one really stretches the imagination. 
I have been working, or reporting that I am 
working, at getting a Linux work station up 
and running with ham software in place. 
Been a rough go and many of you have been 
very sympathetic toward the. cause. I have 
received a lot of encouragement and that is 

The latest is that it is getting closer to frui- 
tion. At long lasL I put a page on my Web 
site about the Linux experience. It is not 
complete as yet because this thing is really 
testing my stick- to-k-ivc-ness. 

But the progress at this point in time is 
that I have successfully gotten all the ducks 
in a row as far as installing an "off-brand" 
(I think all Linux software is considered off- 
brand by those not involved) hamware 
named KPSK + A bit more configuring and 
it may just fly by Uie lime the last of the 
snow is shoveled around these parts. 

There have been some interesting learn- 
ing opportunities as this adventure has un- 
folded. A lot of this centers on support for 
different operating systems. Linux can be 
tough to get all the square pegs in the as- 
sorted matching holes, but so can a lot of 

54 73 Amateur Radio Today • March 2003 


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the technology we see these days. Some of 
the marketers make quite a point of telling 

you about support, then when you call for 
help you are asked to ante up for each ses- 
sion. I have to be seriously desperate to suc- 
cumb to this blood letting, but I go along 
on occasion. 

As for the matter of the Lindows operat- 
ing system, that turned out to be a definite 
pay-for-play adventure, and that is okay for 
some because that company appears to be 
providing what they charge for I have no 
regrets. They were definitely part of my 
education in the Linux vein. I was glad that 
some other avenues were open that I have 
been following. 

Currently. I am working with an early 
release of Red Hat, and a ham suggested I 
join the Red Hal Network. This is a freebie 
where updates are available for the down- 
load. Another education awaited me. They 
have this all set up to automatically probe 
the system that connects to them — yours 
or mine — and tell us what updates are 
available and provide the download. Once 
the files arc in place the installation is ex- 
tremely simple. Even for me. 

F understand that the Mandrake package 
for Linux has a similar offering. So here are 
two major players in the Linux field offer- 
ing automated support to help make these 
things run. 

Alas, this does not solve all the little prob- 
lems of getting everything sorted out, but 
there are also a lot of folks, in our case Linux 
using hams, who are very understanding of 
the problems that beset us when we attempt 
to make these crazy machines work. And 
that is another source. 

Now, just a little side glance in defense 
of the folks at Microsoft. They do similar 
tilings. Many of you are aware of this. Re- 
cently, 1 had occasion to stop by their update 
area on the Internet to download a file I 
did not have, and found a number of up- 
dates not in this Win98se. So T downloaded 
the whole bunch of them, and when the files 
were downloaded the system automatically 
installed them for me. Pretty good. Lots 
of pros and cons to discuss there but it is 

Continued on page 56 

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The Digital Pdht 

continued from page 55 

definitely a service as good as any that we 
don't hear much about, 

A little in the form of editorializing 

What I am saying is that there are some 
real advantages to getting a Linux system 
up and running. I feel I am a pretty frugal 
person when it comes to money spent on 
computers as I sit here with this machine 
that once cost over $ 1 ,500. And if I were to 
update the operating system to the latest and 
greatest according to Microsoft, it would be 
faster but I would then have to buy new 
software to replace the stuff that is already 

There is a bit more to the story. The pre- 
vious machine ran with updates for about 
eight years before retirement and had 
somewhere between $2,500 and S3, 000 
dollars invested in original outlay and 
"improvements." This allows me to make 
a conservative estimate that I have spent in 
excess of $4,500 in ten years to play the 
"keep up with the Jones* ? computer game. 

What is the point? This is a way better 
method to acquire income than when razor 
companies sold cheap razors thai needed 
expensive blades replaced every couple of 
days. All that is necessary to get us to spend 
more on these Windows systems is to come 
up with irresistible games and toys that will 
only run on newer systems that require 
everything else to be replaced for more 
expense. That is why I have found a kind 
of ground zero with Win98se and attempt 
to make it do everything I want. 

Now, the idea of the Linux workstation 
is to assemble a machine that never has an 
expensive major update. In the project I am 
working on, I have not as yet finished buy- 
ing hardware because I am still dancing 
around the iffy getting-it~going phase. When 
I see the light at the end of the tunnel I will 
have to go for a decent monitor and a few 
small items, but I expect to get this thing 
all together doing almost every essential 
word processing, graphics, and ham-oriented 
procedure that I do with this Windows ma- 
chine, with a total outlav of under $700, and 
never need a major update! Quite a contrast. 

The problem? Nothing about this system 
thus far has been plug-it-in-and-turn-it-on 
and start to use it. It is a slow tinkering pro- 
cess. Sometimes I really have negative 
thoughts about the folks who build all these 
little packages of software for the Linux 
system that don't seem to communicate with 
each other. And you know what? I don't 
think that bothers those folks. They seem 

56 73 Amateur Radio Today • March 2003 

to say to us, 6 Tf you want the advantages of 
the system, you gotta learn to play our way," 

To tell the truth, I don't mind that as much 
as it appears. What I want to do is get the 
ham community I can reach to take a look 
at this stuff. My real hope is that I can tell 
you a complete enough story so that you 
can bypass some of the problems I have 
encountered and get into this system and 
enjoy the advantages yourself. 

That's it for this month* Keep those 
digital fires burning- 73, Jack, [KB7NO@]. 

Build Your DREAM Antenna 

continued from page 13 

plug or to an accessory outlet — watch 
the current maximums allowed here. 
They may be a lot lower than you ex- 
pect, so read your owner's manual! 
Otherwise to run high power, run your 
power lines directly to the battery with 
fiised Lines. Be sure to run that second 
ground wire I mentioned earlier from the 
ground lug on the rig and use some sort 
of quick connect plugs to attach/detach 
to the ground wire for ease of removing 
the radio each day. 

[By the way, if you own a 5-door 
vehicle and getting into the hatch is 
going to be an issue for you (I just 
don't use it), check out some of the 
sites I've listed for special mounts to 
handle this J 

As a last step, take a little time to ar- 
range the cable neatly from the back of 
the vehicle all the way to the radio, Try 
to keep it out of tripping distance by 
tucking it under molding or carpet where 
possible. Fve found that especially 
near the doors, it's easy to unscrew the 
molding, place the cable down and 
screw the molding back in place all in 
just minutes. It will save you a lot of 
aggravation later, 

Testing it out — swinging the beam 

Find an empty parking lot some- 
where — up on a hill if possible — and 
scan the band for a decent signal It's 
important to know this, so listen up. 
This is a directional antenna, Try 
pointing the front end (diagonally op- 
posite to the side you have the antenna 
mounted) toward the incoming signal. 
While the station is talking, slowly 

turn the car away from the signal and 
then back again — you've got a mobile 
beam! When the signals are down, take 
advantage of this fact, it does help! 
Fve logged many hours of fun with 
this type of antenna system and you 
can, too. It's a great DX antenna and 
youTl see the best results on those 
long hops. 

Is this antenna system for everyone? 
Of course not! But for me, it's a 
"DREAM" come true! 

Special swivel antenna mount pages 

[www. fires atalog/MK- 



tennas/mounts/swivel-8 1-s.htm J 

YACHTAi /shakespeare_mounts Jitm] 

Junkbox Telephone 
Recording Adapter 

continued from page 22 

because of the variety of pinouts of the 
salvaged components. PI and P2 are 
each connected to the perfboard using 
about 1 foot of twisted pair wire each. 

Twisted pair wire can easily be made 
with a variable speed drill. Simply put 
the ends of the two wires in the drill 
chuck and tighten. Hold die other end 
of the wires taught while running the 
drill at a slow speed. Turn the wires 
until the pair has about two turns per 
inch. Remove the wires from the chuck, 
trim, strip, and tin the ends. 

The J2 ring connection (-) is con- 
nected to ground with a 6 inch piece of 
wire. The J2 tip (+) connection is 
wired to one side of switch SI. The 
other side of SI is connected to the IN 
terminal of voltage regulator UL Refer 
to Fig, 2d for UTs pinouL I will leave 
it up to you to be able to mount the 
Telephone Recording Adapter assembly 
into a suitable enclosure. 


Plug in the 9 VDC wall transformer. 

Insert the wall transformer plug into 
J2. Turn on SI. The green LED (D8) 
should glow. The yellow LED (D7) 
should also glow, indicating an input 
voltage at Jl of less than 24 volts. It 
D7 and D8 are not on. check for proper 
installation of these LEDs. Measure 
continuity at PL tip to ring. The read- 
ing should be a short circuit. Next, 
plug the phone line into J 1. Willi all of 
the phones on the line "on- hook," the 
yellow LED should be off. If this is not 
the case, check for proper installation 
of Dl through D5, 


Obtain a tape recorder with tfc MlC" 
and "REMOTE' 1 inputs. The MIC in- 
put is a 1/8 inch (3,5mm) jack, while 
the REMOTE input is a 3/32 inch 
(2.5mm) jack. Plug the power cord 
of the recorder inio I he wall and insert 
a blank tape (it should be rewound 
completely) into the machine. 

Make sure the 9 VDC transformer is 
plugged into the wall and its output 
connected to J2. Verify that SI is off. 
Ensure that J] is connected to the 
phone line. Next, plug P2 into the MIC 
input and plug PI into ihe REMOTE 
input of the tape recorder. Put the 
tape recorder in the RECORD mode 
(this is usually accomplished by 
pressing the PLAY and RECORD 
buttons simultaneously). 

Then, turn on SI. The green LED 
should glow. The yellow LED will glow 
if any telephone on the line is "off- 
hook." When the yellow LED is on, 
the phone conversation is being re- 
corded. As mentioned earlier, turn off 
SI to disable the Telephone Recording 

Meter Made 

continued from page 25 

the voltage and current in an adjust- 
able power supply. Fig* 5 shows a 1 2- 
volt, 5-amp circuit diagram built 
around an LM3I7T adjustable regula- 
tor IC. A PNP "wraparound"' power 
transistor increased the current capa- 
bility from L5 amps for the LM317T 
to 5 amps. The voltage is adjustable 
from 11.5 to 14.5 volts. This is the 

range of voltages normally seen in 
equipment powered by an automobile 
electrical system. 

The voltmeter uses the expanded- 
scale circuit of Fig P 4 with cxpanded- 
scale markings on the face. The ammeter 
uses the circuit of Fig. 3 and is placed 
in the input of the regulator circuit. 
This placement eliminates the effect of 
any voltage drop across the meter 
shunt resistor from affecting the output 
voltage. With this placement, current 
drawn by the regulator circuit itself is 
included in the meter reading. How- 
ever, the regulator circuit draws less 
than 5 mA. a negligible amount on a 
5-amp meter scale. 

Other uses 

There are many other uses for re- 
cycled meters. An SWR bridge re- 
quires two meters. If purchased new, 
the cost would be prohibitive. With re- 
cycled meters, the cost is zero! Re- 
cycled meters can also be used in a 
dipper instrument, or as an S-meter in 
a home-built receiver Other test in- 
struments are described in the new 
book Test Equipment by Guido Silva 
I2EO, which is available from Barnes 
and Noble and also from Amazon on 
the World Wide Web []. 

Drawing the new meter scales 

New meter scales are best drawn on 
bright white paper with black ink. If 
the original meter needle is white, you 
can make it black with a black felt-tip 
marker. Those with artistic talent can 
envision many other possibilities. I 
used a pen plotter to draw the scales 
for the meters on the 12-volt power 
supply as seen in the photos. 

I hope to see many projects de- 
scribed in this journal using recycled 
meters. It's great fun to build your own 
instruments and gear. 

All About Electronics 


continued from page 37 

level, the detector became alive and the 

FM radio played in a manner that ap- 
peared to be normal. Of course, alter 

dropping the power, then restoring it, 
the FM radio was DEAD again. Re- 
peating the signal generator injection 
again worked, but only periodically. 
During the time the FM portion was 
working, the AM portion worked as 
well. OK, where do I go from here? 
The problem appeared to he around 
IC2 — was the chip good or bad? And, 
if it was bad, what then? 

So how do I proceed to troubleshoot 
a chip that has no published available 
data? The first step during this part of 
the process was to examine the board 
under a magnifying glass to see if any 
bad solder joints or broken traces were 
visible. As you might expect, every- 
thing looked good and no obvious 
problems were delected. 

Studying the schematic regarding 
the part surrounding and connecting to 
IC2 suggested that checking the parts 
should be the next logical step. Each 
capacitor and resistor was removed in- 
dividually from the board, checked. 
and then returned. No problem was 
found. The next thought I entertained 
was that perhaps one of the IC pins 
wasn't properly soldered even though 
it passed a visual inspection. Each pin 
of IC2 was resoldered, but that process 
failed to repair the problem. 

What fixed the problem? Even 
though the IC pins appeared to be sol- 
dered, I had to assume that there was a 
hairline crack in the circuit trace con- 
nected to one of the IC pins. Though 
each trace appeared to be OK by visual 
inspection, I chose to clean off the sol- 
der mask on a small section of the 
trace adjacent to each pin of IC2. Each 
trace section was then chased with sol- 
der that functioned as a bridge. Obvi- 
ously this had to be the cure because 
the radio, with power applied, oper- 
ated as expected. Even varying the 
supply voltage from L5 to 3.2 volts 
failed to disrupt the normal operation 
— absolutely unlike previous tests. 
With the radio now operating, more 
data was desired for future reference. 
A voltage chart for each IC pin was 
developed and is shown in Table 1. 


For a "simple AM/FM broadcast ra- 
dio," this Panasonic is sure packed 
73 Amateur Radio Today • March 2003 57 

with a lot of electronic features for its 
physical size. As a result it was far 
more complex to troubleshoot than an- 
ticipated from looking at the exterior 
of the box. 

You will always ask the question 
"Should I tackle this repair task?" 
when the neighbor approaches with a 
project in hand. Although the AM/FM 
BC radio isn't ham-related, the elec- 
tronic portion and the troubleshooting 
techniques involved certainly relate di- 
rectly to any ham-related piece of 
equipment. Learning the skills for 
troubleshooting problems can pay off 
in the long run. So why not practice 
on the neighbors 1 simpler equipment 
before tackling a ham rig? 

Travels with Henryk 

continued Jrom page 39 

Part 10 

Lithuania, I could see that the spirit of 
homebrewing is still high there (Photo 
E). Ricardas is not very active from his 



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apartment due to limited living space 
and antenna restrictions. So he spends 
quite some time at the club station 
which has the callsign of LY2ZO. 
There is more space ... and provisions 
for running more power (Photo F) + 
These Russian power tubes can deliver 
much more than the official limit of 
200 watts! 

The LY2ZO club is probably the 
most successful contest club in this 
part of Europe. This is a result of many 
years of improving the skills, anten- 
nas, and equipment. The man behind 
this achievement is Algis LY2NK 
(Photo G). He has spent the last 40 
years, against all odds, building anten- 
nas and equipment, encouraging others, 
going on contest expeditions, winning 
contests, and so on. His efforts have 
been recognized internationally, and 
Algis LY2NK was elected to the Con- 
test Hall Of Fame, Number 37. The 
contest station of LY2ZO club is out of 
town, with separate operating posi- 
tions for each band (Photo H) and an 
impressive homegrown antenna farm. 
More pictures can be seen at the club's 
Web site. For contest purposes, the 
club usually uses its shorter contest 
callsign, LY7A. 

I have often wondered why in some 
places, without technological tradition 
and appropriate industrial infrastruc- 
ture, amateur radio activity is high. 
What is driving people to devote so 
much time and energy, overcome ob- 
stacles, deploy and develop ingenuity; 
all not for profit? Maybe this is the 
elementary essence of our hobby — to 
learn and improve the skills, go forward. 
The more difficult it is, the more fun 
and satisfaction it gives, Lithuanian 
radio clubs, and there are many more 
of them than these two that I visited, can 
serve as evidence of my point. 

Front and Center 

continued from page 41 

white paper is less expensive than 
using colored paper. I use the colored 
paper for the background. My printer, 
an inexpensive inkjet type, doesn't "fill" 
background well, and 1 like the total 
color of the colored paper. Having 

made a final copy on the chosen col- 
ored paper stock, it's time to adhere 
the print to the face plate. Using con- 
tact cement, coat the face plate evenly 
using a soft brush or foam applicator. 
Now carefully place the print on the 
prepared plate. Ensure that the holes 
line up, the lettering and designs aren't 
beyond the ends of the plate. It some- 
times helps to hold the plate with the 
paper attached up to the light, to be 
better able to see where the placement 
is. Be careful not to have excess cement 
find its way to the surface of the paper. 
It will be impossible to remove and will 
be a "blemish" on your work. Once 
you're satisfied with the placement of 
the print, and the cement has had time 
to cure, use "Krystal -clear" wide trans- 
parent adhesive tape (misspelled, but 
that's what it says on the roll) to coat 
the surface of the panel. Using clear 
tape provides protection for the paper 
from absorbing oils from fingers, and a 
measure of resistance to wean 

Now that the print is adhered to the 
surface, has a layer of clear tape pro- 
tecting it, and you're happy with the 
results, it's time to remove the excess 
paper from around the borders of the 
panel. Using a razor knife or single- 
edged razor blade, trim the excess 
from the panel. Use the edges of the 
panel as a guide, being careful to cut 
only the paper and tape and not your 
fingers ! The edge of the panel provides a 
solid rest for the blade, enabling it to 
produce a clean, sharp cut. If you began 
with ten fingers and have ten remaining, 
then the operation was a success! 

The key to this project is "learning 
what's already in your word process- 
ing program." Panels that are attrac- 
tive and distinctive and personalize the 
project you've worked on are easy to 
create in "Word." Photos A and B are 
of a 5.25 MHz to 5,4 MHz receiver 
project I've been working on. The case 
of the project was a "left over" com- 
puter item. The panel slips into slots 
and the top snaps over it all to keep it 

Play a little bit! {They ... call it play- 
ing, but we can call it "designing.") 
You've nothing to lose but some time 
and paper. Who knows, you may even 
be delighted with the results! 

B8 73 Amateur Radio Today * March 2003 

Crlendrr Events 

continued from page 44 

computers, software, peripherals, hardware, 
amateur radios, and components of all kinds. 
There will also be flea market tables selling 
used equipment In any of the areas listed, and 
more that would attract the electronics hobby 
enthusiast. Friday evening setup details will 
be sent with table registration. Admission is 
$6 In advance or $8 at the door, with people 
15-years-old and under admitted free- 
Advance discount tickets are available at 
Amateur & Antique Radio Consignment 
Center, Pavek Museum, and Radio City. For 
further info call 763-537-1722, or visit [bttpJi]. Send E-mail to [k0ftc@ 
visLcom]. Advance prices: All electricity paid 
in advance is $15 extra, charged once per 
vendor. 8 ft. swap table $25 each, Table in Club 
Corral $15 each. Commercial booth $125 
each. VE exams registration required. NO 
walk-ins. For info, contact Denny Ackerrnan 
by E-mail at [], or call 651- 
769-0353^ VE fee is $12. Please plan ahead 
and bring copies of all your documentation. 
The site is handicap accessible. Send a check 
payable to RARC (no cash please) and mail 
by March 15th to Robbinsdale Amateur Radio 
Ctub,PQ. Box 22613, Robbinsdale MN 55422. 
You must include a legal size SASE. Requests 
received without an SASE. or after March 15th, 
will be held for pickup at 'Will Call. 11 After 
March 15th, swap tables are $35 (add $30 
for electricity) subject to availability. Club tables 
$1 8, Commercial booth $1 35, electricity $30 
extra. Swap table confirmation will be mailed 
after March 8th. 


weather "SKYWARN" training is being 
scheduled. Volunteer observers are sought in 
the St. Louis County area. There is no cost for 
the training and it is offered numerous times 
during the month of March to accommodate 
as many trainees as possible. Reservations 
are not required. There is ample space and 
parking is free. Participants from out of the area 
are also welcomed. The training is being 
sponsored by the St. Louis County SKYWARN 
Program. Level 1 (basic) and Level 2 
(advanced) training is being offered, as well 
as a Severe Weather Safety & Preparedness 
Class, and a Disaster Damage Assessment 
Class. For those wishing to become amateur 
radio operators, an eight week class is offered 
beginning in late March. For the schedule of 
events, call 314-615-7857, or check the 
i nternet at [httpJIwww.stlouisco-skywam. org!] or 
[httpJidlw. hispeed. comlsabrelSkywarn.htmi]. 
If you are in the local area, please check into 
the monthly SKYWARN net on the first 
Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. on the 
146.940 rptr. For more info contact Michael 
Redman at 314-615-5362 or at [Mredman]. 

APR 13 

STOUGHTON, Wl The Madison Area Repeater 
Assoc, will host the Madison Swapfest on 
Sunday, April 13th, at Mandt Community 
Center, Stoughton Junior Fair Grounds, on 
South Fourth St, Doors open at 8 am. Talk-in 
on 147.1 5. For more info contact Madison Area 
Repeater Assoc, P.O. Box 8890 t Madison Wi 
53708-8890. Phone 608-245-8890. For fast 
access to more info f check the Web site at 
[htip;iiwww. qsf. netlmaral}. 

APR 27 

GALVA, [L The 4th annual W9YPS/AA9RO 
Hamfest will be hosted by the Area Amateur 
Radio Operators Club, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the 
Gaiva IL National Guard Armory on 150 
Morgan Rd Advance 3-stub tickets $5, 1-stub 
tickets $7 at the door. 6 ft. tables $10. 
Reserved tables not paid for by April 1 5th may 
be reassigned. Breakfast and lunch will be 
available. Taik-in on 145.490 - 86,5 PL, There 
is a Jarge outdoor flea market area with 
handicap parking and the building is handi- 
capped accessible. Some electricity is 
available, first come first served. Bring your 
own extension cords. Please contact [wd9hcf@] for details about VE exams. For more 
info contact Mat Bultock W9SIX, 419 College 
St, Kewanee IL 61443, [mbufiock@theramp. 
net]; Phii imes WD9IRE, 908 Zang Ave. f 
Kewanee iL 61443, []; or Biii 
Anderson WA9BA, 920 W Division SL, Gaiva 
IL 61434, [wa9ba@arri.neil 

SEP 25-28 

SEATTLE WA Microwave Update 2003 

organizers and the Pacific Northwest VHF 
Society are joining forces to host a joint 
conference in the Seattle WA area on 
September 25-28, 2003. Registrations for the 
joint conference will be accepted beginning 
April 1st. Cost of the registration will be $40 
prior to September 12th, and covers all three 
days. Single day or single event registrations 
are not available. Late registrations, including 
at the door will be $50. Registration forms can 
be downloaded at [] 
or send an SASE to John Price N7MWV, 
12026 81 st Ave. NE, Kirkland WA 98034, and 
a form will be mailed to you. Completed 
registration forms and payment should be sent 
to the same address. Make checks payable to 
Microwave Update 2003. Joint conference 
sessions and the Saturday evening banquet 
will be held at the Everett Holiday Inn and 
Conference Center, a short drive north of 
downtown Seattle. Special rates have been 
arranged with the hotel for conference 
participants. Rooms are $69 per night plus tax, 
a real bargain for the Seattle area! It is 
suggested that early reservations be made 
directly with the hotel at 425-337-2900. Be sure 
to mention "Microwave Update" to get this rate 

Continued on page 6 1 

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73 Amateur Radio Today * March 2003 59 


Jim Gray II 

210 East Chateau Circle 

Payson, AZ 85541 


The Good, the Bad, 

■ ■ 

The first half of March should bring a. welcome improvement in DXing conditions, something 
that we haven't experienced in a while. However, the latter half of the month will be rocky, with 
a particularly poor stretch from the 14th to the 24th. 

Look for a major flare or large CME around the equinox, fol- 
lowed within a day or so (if Earth-directed) by a strong geo- 
magnetic storm. Good propagation will not return again until early 
April, but by then we should have a long stretch of decent conditions 
to look forward to. 

This month marks the 100th anniversary of the first transatlantic 
daily "sked." On the 20th of March 1903, in concert with the Lon- 
don Times, Guglielmo Marconi established the first transatlantic 
news service between Glace Bav in Nova Scotia, Canada, and 
Poldhu in Cornwall, England. This ambitious project came only 
two and a half months after the first successful transatlantic radio 
message was transmitted, and just nine years after Marconi began 
experimenting with "wireless" telegraphy. 

That first "epmmerciar broadcast station on Cape Breton was 
impressive, even by modern standards. The antenna array included 
four 200- foot wooden towers supporting miles of copper cables 
that covered approximately 500 acres. The crude "spark" transmitter 
was relatively powerful at 75 kilowatts, and the entire station was 
powered by its own coal-burning generating plant! In addition to 
the transmitter "shack," there was a home for the station manager 
and his family, plus several outbuildings to house various pieces 
of equipment. In size at least, Marconi's station was something 
any dyed-in-the-wool ham could fantasize about. 

Unfortunately, Marconi's early attempt at establishing a regular 
international broadcast schedule was short-lived. Only three weeks 
later, on April 6, an ice storm brought down the huge antenna array. 
Although it was rebuilt, this event and other technical difficulties 

March 2003 









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19 F-P 

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(20) 40 






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Table L Band, time, country chart Plain numerals indicate bands 
which should be workable on Fair to Good (F-G) and Good (G) days. 
Numbers in parentheses indicate bands usually workable on Good (G) 
days only. Dual numbers indicate that tiie intervening bands should 
also be usable. When one number appears in parentheses, that end of 
the range will probably be open on Good (G) days only 

60 73 Amateur Radio Today • March 2003 

brought an end to the first commercial radio 
venture. Another six years elapsed before 
daily transatlantic radio communication 
became a reality. 

In retrospect, it is amazing that Marconi 
met any success at all. Those early messages 
often took hours to complete successfully 
and had to be repeated many times. Recep- 
tion was extremely variable, and aJ though 
Marconi had at least discovered that his 
transatlantic transmissions worked better at 
night, the reason why was not understood. 
Solar effects were also unappreciated at the 
time, and to make matters worse, those first 
transatlantic broadcasts took place during 
the sunspot minimum at the end of Cycle 
13* So, if you find yuurself grumbling about 
propagation conditions later this month, 
think back on the incredible patience and 
tenacity of our first "DXcr," and perhaps 
you will be inspired to hang in there. 

Band-by- Band Forecast 

10-12 meters 

Good openings into Europe should be 
available before noon, and into Africa or the 
South Pacific after noon. The strongest 
"pipelines" will be to Central and South 
America from shortly after noon through 
early evening. Daytime short-skip will range 
from LOOO to approximately 2,300 miles. 

15-17 meters 

Excellent worldwide propagation will be 
available to most areas of the globe from 
sunrise through mid-evening. Europe will 
open before noon and the rest of the world 
will be workable after noon. South America 
and Australasia may stay open until mid- 
night during the best periods. Short-skip will 
average from 1,000 to 2,200 miles. 

20 meters 

Expect excellent daytime propagation but 
only fair conditions after dark. All areas of 
the globe should be workable on Good (G) 
days with peak periods coming for about 
two hours after sunrise and another few 
hours in the late afternoon or early evening. 
Europe should be particularly good from die 
eastern U.S. and the South Pacific, and 
Australia will offer excellent openings to 
operators in the western U.S. Short-skip can 
fluctuate between 500 and 2,300 miles. 

30-40 meters 

Good to excellent worldwide opportunities 
should be available from sunset to sunrise 

despite rising atmospheric static. The Car- 
ibbean, Central America, and the northern 
half of South America will be particularly 
good, with New Zealand and Australia of- 
fering other decent opportunities. Short-skip 
at night will range from 500 to 2 ? 500 miles 
but will be under 1 .000 mi les during the day. 

80-160 meters 

Fairly good worldwide DXing should be 
available from sunset through sunrise, but 
will be limited by atmospheric static. 80 
meters will be substantially better than 1 60 
except during the very quietest periods. 
Daytime skip will be very short — under 
250 miles — but nighttime short-skip can 
range from 1,000 to 2,000 miles. 

Calendar Euents 

continued from page 59 

Reservations must be made by August 21st 
for this rate. 

"White papers" are currently being solicited 
from potential authors and speakers for 
publication in the 2003 conference 
proceedings. Topics specifically of interest to 
Microwave Update attendees, as well as those 
on VHF and UHF subjects usually associated 
with the annual Pacific Northwest VHF 
Conference are being solicited. Papers will be 
accepted until July 1st, 2003, to allow enough 
time for printing. White papers should be sent 
directly to Jim Christiansen K7ND, via E-mail 
at [k7nd@att.netj. MS Word format Is 
preferred. Microwave Update 2003 and the 
Pacific Northwest VHF Society respectively, 
will be the sole judges of whether presentation 
requests and white papers are accepted. 

If you are interested in making a session 
presentation at one of the Microwave Update 
2003 sessions, please respond to NU7Z 
[nu7z@aoi.coml For presentations at the 
Pacific Northwest VHF Conference sessions, 
contact N7CFO at []. 
LCD projection equipment will be available for 
those using PowerPoint presentations. Slides 
and video presentations can be accommodated 
with advance notice, 


MAR 22-23 

Assn. will host the Oklahoma QSO Party, 
beginning at 1300 UTC on 22 March, and 
ending at 1300 UTC 23 March. All entries may 
operate 18 hours of the 24-hour time frame. 
Plaques awarded for high score(s). Certificates 
are available. For rules and info go _to 
[www, qsl. net/okdxa]. 

On the Go 

continued from page 45 

Management Agency, the Red Cross, and the 
League itself. These references are all avail- 
able on-line so you can check on a particular 
topic during the lesson and then jump back to 
the lesson itself. You can print out the learn- 
ing units if you prefer to highlight key sec- 
tions, or if your eyesight prefers paper and 
ink to a CRT. Once you are comfortable with 
the material, there is a student activity wherein 
you are given one or more questions or situa- 
tions and asked to share your response with 
your mentor- Td E-mail my responses and 
normally have a response back in just a few 
days. This activity sort of takes the place of a 
class discussion in a virtual world and fleshes 
out the material After completing the student 
activity you can then move on to a series of 
questions to check your understanding of the 
material. Answer each question, then press a 
button under the multiple choice answers to 
check vour answer, 

When you finish all the learning units you 
then can take the Gnal assessment, which is a 
twenty -live-question multiple-choice test that 
reviews the entire course. 1 found it interest- 
ing that the material stressed focused as much 
on die people skills as the technical skills. This 
only makes sense because people tend to melt 
down in a crisis more frequently than equip- 
ment does. There are also sections devoted to 
net operations, message handling, and equip- 
ment choices. The course spends time on 
preparation for deployment, activation, and 
initial operations as well as how to shut the 
operation down. They even have a section on 
the importance of your own family and how 
to make sure they're provided for if and when 
you go. The material was useful, down to 
earth, and well presented. 

Some suggestions if you decide to take this 
course. If you' ve been out of school for a whi le 
(and many of us have), gel organized before 
you start. T chose to print the materials and 
keep them in a three-ring binder. If so, you 
may want to have space for your own notes, 
as well. Also, with exceptional reference ma- 
terials available for download, you may want 
to cither print them out for future reference or 
else burn them onto a CD-ROM and include 
it with your other emergency supplies. Most 
laptop or notebook computers now have CD- 
ROM drives, so this is an easy way to have 
reference materials readily available if you 
have to pack up and go. 

This course was well worth the time and 
effort. If you plan on doing public service 
or emergency communications, you should 
give serious thought to taking tMs course, 
As I mentioned earlier, you may not always 
agree with the League, but they do provide 
some unique benefits. mi 

73 Amateur Radio Today * March 2003 61 

Homing In 

continued from page 52 

elements along the imaginary circle of 
movement is critical. A four- whip array 
must form a perfect square; an eight- whip 
array must form a perfect octagon, and so 
forth, Any erTor in element placement can 
cause significant hearing errors at some 
angles. If you use magnetic-mounts instead 
of a single fixed array-on-a-plate, be sure 
to use a template or make careful measure- 
ments when pulling the mag-mounts on top 
of your vehicle. 

That's enough theory for this month. In 
the next installment, I'll delve into practical 
Doppler antenna switching schemes. There 
are lots of circuits out there and some work 
much better than others. IT1 explain why 
and describe some simple things you can 
do that may improve the performance of the 
one you're using now. 

Duke City comics 

Congratulations to the T-hunlers of Al- 
buquerque for showing the humorous side 
of our sport to the whole country. What pub- 
licity has your club gotten for RDF contest- 
ing in your area? Send E-mail or postal mail 
to the addresses al the beginning of this 
article and tell me about it. 

Annually around New Year's Day, hams 
from all over southern California gather for 
a party in front of multiple TV sets, viewing 
stacks of videos they have taken at T-hunts 
of the past year J, Scott Bovitz N6MI hosted 
this year's film-fest and the video I brought 
was a big hit, even though it wasn't about a 
local hunt. Here's why: 

Our strange mobile RDF setups and hid- 
den transmitter hunt rules seem comical to 
many non-hams, including news reporters . 
Some years ago, 1 took a columnist for our 
local newspaper on a hunt ride-along. The 
story she wrote made it clear that the humor- 
ous aspects of the event made a much greater 
impression on her than my explanations of 
T-hunting's serious enforcement and search/ 
rescue value, 

The T-humers of Albuquerque have had 
similar media encounters, so they decided 
that if it is something to joke about, diey 
might as well make the most of it. When 
comedian Dave Attell came to Duke City 
last June to videotape the city's nightlife 
for his weekly show on Comedy Central 
cable/satellite channel, they put on a special 
late-night T-hunt. 

As a result, Audi's "Insomniac" Albu- 
querque episode includes a hilarious seg- 
ment on mobile T-hunting, as Dave rides 
along with Mike Pendley K5ATM and 
Debbie Pendley KD5LOK in their Doppler- 
equipped van. Waiting for the hunters on 
a mesa above Petroglyph National Monu- 
ment beside his T-in-a-bush is Jerry Boyd 
WB8WFK. It first aired last December 
and is expected to be repeated in the com- 
ing months (check listings at [www. 
comedy] ) . 

62 73 Amateur Radio Today * March 2003 


continued from page 7 

PHONES! A (fo NEE zhuh), n. The affliction of 
dialing a phone number and forgetting whom you 
were calling just as they answer 

Thanks to the UBET ARC newsletter Radio 
Flyer, April 2002. 

And then there's MUSTURD (MUSS terd), n. 
That hard little cap of old stuff that forms at the 
top of a squeeze bottle of mustard. — eoL 

Neuer snv DIE 

continued from page 43 

do is turn on a switch and the whole 
world is my oyster I turn off the switch 
and fm alone to read, think and write. 
But if I get lonely, I've got a bunch of 
friends all around die world waiting there 
for me. 

Okay, how can we get the grays into 
our hobby? That's easy. Start writing 
articles about the fun you're having on 
the ham bands for your local shopper 
paper. Tell "em how easy it is to get a 
ticket these days and how little it costs to 
get a used ham rig. Invite 'em to a club 
meeting. Offer to help 'em put up an 

If we can't get the kids, let's go for 
their grandparents. 

Danger — Blasting 

We've all seen the signs asking us to 
turn off radio transmitters when passing 
blasting areas. Well, a reader sent me a 
download from o( an ar- 
ticle recommending that Israel set up 
narrow passages at every checkpoint 
with sandbags io absorb any explosions 
and UHF transmitters which would deto- 
nate any blasting caps Palestinians might 
walk or drive through with. That would 
get rid of suicide bombers in short order. 

If we set up a system like that at air- 
line check-ins we might blow the feet off 
some shoe bombers. 

That got me to thinking — and I can 
prove it. 

How about using a psychological ap- 
proach? I'd set up a series of radio and 
TV broadcasts in Arabic of psychics in- 
terviewing dead suicide bombers who 

are screaming that they are roasting in 
hell and that all that crap about they're 
having 73 virgins and living in paradise 
are just terrible lies, Allah is furious with 
them and has put a curse on their families, 
I've always felt it's far better to out- 
smart enemies rather than to try and 
outfight them. It's cheaper and saves a 
lot of lives. 

Rife = Bunk 

If you haven't read Barry Lynes' The 
Cancer Cure That Worked, the book 
about the work of Dr. Royal Raymond 
Rife, you've missed a fascinating story. 

Rife is the guy who, hack in the 1920s, 
invented a super powerful microscope. 
Like Bechamp before him, he hetero- 
dyned two ultra-violet tights to produce 
a visible light magnification that allowed 
him lo watch live bacteria in action. But 
he made the serious mistake of curing 
sonic or his patients ol cancer. For [his 
error he was arrested, his microscopes 
destroyed and he was put in prison. It's 
the good old American way. At least, 
he didn't die there as did Dr. Wilhelm 
Reich — whose equipment was also 

So where's the bunk? 

Rife was using a radio frequency gen- 
erator, which he supposedly "tuned" to 
frequencies which blew bacteria apart, 
with each requiring a different fre- 
quency. So today we have so-called Rife 
frequency generators which are selling 
in the multi-kilobuck range. 

So what's wrong with that? Why do I 
think this is bunk? 

Firstly, Fve read everything I could find 
about Rite's work, looking ftjtilely for some 
him as to the frequencies he was using. 
Plus, it seems to me that if one is going 
to blow up a bacteria one is going to 
have Lo use one heck of a high frequency 
to get a half- wavelength down to microbe 
size. With 1920s technology? When I got 
started building radios in 1937 The ham 
ten-meter band was considered an ultra-high 
frequency experimental band. 

The second problem was stability. You 
either used a crystal in an oven to gener- 
ate a stabilized frequency or your .signal 
wandered around as your coil heated up 
and cooled. Even temperature-controlled 
ovens were crude by today's digital gen- 
erator standards. So how couid Rife have 
known and achieved a frequency accu- 
racy which targeted a specific pathogen? 

Third, this was way before accurate 
frequency counters, There was no way to 
accurately measure frequency. 

Fourth, cancer isn't caused by bacteria 
anyway, It's caused by faultily repro- 
duced cells not being trashed by the im- 
mune system and thus being allowed to 

Continued on page 64 

Here are some of in v himks which can 
change your Life (if you'll lei "em). If 
the idea of being health) , wealthy and 
wise interests you, start reading. Yes, 
vou can he all that, but nnl\ when vou 
know the see nets which I've spent a 
lifetime tin cove ring. 


The Secret Guide to Health Yes, 
there real J v is a secret to renaming vonr 
health and adding 30 to 60 years of 
healthy living [0 your lite Tlie answer is 
simple, but it means making some ^ 
rious lifestyle changes Will > ou be ski 
ing the slopes of Aspen ^ ith me w hen 
you're 90 or doddering around a nurs- 
ing home? Or pushing up daisies? No, V rn 
not selling any health products hut I 
can help you cure yourself of cancer, 
heart trouble, or any other illness. Get 
this new. 2002 expanded edition 
UfiOpi. SI0(#04) 

The Secret Guide to Wealth: Just as 
with health, you* LI find that you have 
been suckered by "ihe system" into a 
pattern of lite that will keep \oti hum 
ever making much money and having 
the freedom to travel and do what 
you want. I explain how anyone can 
get a dream job with no college, no 
resume, and even without any ex- 
perience, 1 explain how you can gel 
someone to happily pay you to learn 
what you need to know In start your 
own business. $5 (#03) 
The Secret Guide to Wisdom: This 
is a review of aromul ;i hundred hooks 
that will boggle your mind aiul help 
you change your life, No. I don't sell 
these books. They're on a wide range of 
subjects and will help to make you a 
very interesting person. Wait" II you 
see some of the gems you've missed 
reading. You* I) have plenty of fasci- 
nating stuff to talk about on the air. 
$5 (#02| 

My WWII Submarine Adventures: 
Yes* I spent from 1 943- 1 945 on a sub- 
marine, right in ihc middle of the w.u 
with Japan. We almost goi sunk several 
times, and twice i was in the right place 
at ihe right time to save the boat. 
Whafs it really like to be depth 
charged? And whafs the daily life 
aboard a submarine like? How about 
the Amelia Lathan inside story Ml 
you* re near Mobile, please visit the 
Drum. $5 (tlflj 

Travel Diaries: You can travel amaz- 
ingly inexpensively - once you know 
the ropes. Enjoy Sherry and my budget 
visits to Europe, Russia, and a bunch 
of other interesting place*. How about 
a first class flight to Munich, a rented 
Audi, driving to \ isit Vienna, Krakow 

in Poland (and the famous salt mines J, 
Plague, back to Munich, and the first 
class flight home for two, all for un- 
der $ 1 ,000? Yes, when you know how 
you can travel inexpensively; and still 
stay in firsl class hotels. $5 (#11) 
Writer's Guide: It's easy, fun, can pad 
your resumi, and impress the hell out 
of your friends. SO (#78} 
Payne's Caribbean Ad ventures: My 
super budget travel stories - where 1 
visit the hams and scuba dive most of 
the islands of the Caribbean, You'll 
love die special Liat fare which let me 
visit 1 1 countries in 21 days, diving 
all but one of the islands. Guadeloupe, 
where the hams kept me too busy with 
parties. S5 (#12) 

Cold Fusion Overview: This is both 
a brief history of cold fusion, which I 
predict will be one of the largest in- 
dustries in the world in the list cen- 
tury, plus a simple explanation of how 
and why it works. This new field is 
eoine to generate a whole new bunch 
of billionaires, just as the personal 
computer industry did_ $5 (#20) 
Imprm in" State Goi eminent Here 
are 24 ways that state governments 
can cut expenses enormously, while 
providing far better service. 1 explain 
how any government bureau or de- 
partment can cut its expenses by at 
least 50% in three years and do it 
cooperatively and enthusiastically. 
I explain how, by applying a new 
technology, the state can make it pos- 
sible to provide all needed services 
without having to levy any taxes at 
ail! Read the book, run for your leg- 
islature, and let's get busy making rhis 
country work like its founders wanted 
it to, Don't leave this for "someone 
else" to do. $5 (#30) 
Mankind's Extinction Predictions: If 
any one of the experts who have writ- 
ten hooks predicting a soon-to-come 
l a ta strophe which will virtually wipe 
most of us out are right, we're in 
trouble. In this book I explain about 
the various disaster scenarios, like that 
of Nostradamus, who says the poles 
will soon shift i as they Itave several linics 
in the past), wiping out 97% of mankind 
Okay, so he % s made a long: string of past 
luck) guesses. The worst part of ihe*e 
pi edict ions K the accuracy record of 
some of the experts. Will it be a pole 
shift, a new ice age, a massive solar 
flare, a comet or asteroid, a bioterrorisl 
aiiack? Fm getting ready, how about 

you? 55 r #31) 

Moon doggie: After reading Rene's 
book, NASA Mooned America* I read 
e v eryihing I cv*i!d find on our Moon land- 
ings. 1 watched the NASA \ideos. looked 
carefully at the photos, read the astronaut's 
biographies, and talked with some read- 
ers who worked for NASA. This book 
cites 45 good reasons I believe the whole 
Apollo program had to have been faked, 
£5 {#321 

Classical Music Guide: A lisl of 100 
CDs which will provide you with an 
outstanding collection of the finest 
classical music ever written This is 
what you need io help you reduce 
stress. Classical music also raises 
\<>ungsiers* IQs, helps plants grow 
faster, and u ill make you healthier. Just 
wail' II you hear sunie of t juischalk's 
fabulous music! $5 (#33) 
The Radio Coverup Is police radar 
dangerous? Ross Adey K6UI, a world 
authority, confirms the dangers of 
radio and magnetic fields, including 
our HTs and cell phone v S3 (#M j 
Three Gatlo Talks: A prize winning 
teacher explains what's wrong with 
American schools and why our kids 
are not being educated Why ait Swed- 
ish youngsters, who start school at 7 
years of age, leaMne our kids in die 
dust * ihu kids Lire intentionally being 
dumbed down by our school system — 
the least effective and most expensive 
in the world. $5 (#35) 
Aspartame: a k.a. NutraSweet. the 
stuff in diet drinks, etc., can cause all 
kinds of serious health problems. Mul- 
tiple sclerosis, for one. Read all about 
it, two pamphlets for a buck, (#38) 
SI Million Sales Video: The secret of 
how vou can generate an extra mil- 
lion dollars in sales just by using PR. This 
will he one of the besi investments you 
or your business wil I ever i nake. $40 ( #52 ) 
Reprints of My Editorials from 75, 
Very few things minis work! are as we've 
been taughi, and as the\ appear. As an 
iconoelasi I blow the whistle on the scams 
around us, such as the health care, our 
school system, our money, ihe drug war, 
a college education, sugar, the food giants, 
our unhealthy food, fluorides, HMFs, 
NutraSweet, etc. 
19% 100 Kdiliiriul Essays: 15 (#72) 

1997 157 Editorial Essays: $8 (#74) 

1998 192 Editorial Essays: $10 (#75) 
199*; 165 Editorial Essays: ^H (#76) 
2IHHI 101 Editorial Essays: £5 {#11) 
2001 104 Editorial Essavs: S5 (#78) 

Silver Wire; With two 5-in. pieces of 
heavy pun? silver wire + three 9\ batter- 
ies you can make a thousand dollars 
worth of silver colloid. What do you do 
with it? It docs whai the antibiotics do, 
but germs can 1 ! adapt to it. Use it to get 
rid of germs on food, for skin fungus, 
warts, and even to drink. Read some 
books on the uses of silver colloid, if s 
like mask. SI 5 (#80) 
Colloid Reprint April 97 article on a 

silver colloid maker, hisiorv. and how 


to use the stuff. 55 <#9B) 
Colloid Clips. Three 9V battery clips, 
: alligator clips & irwmciiuus V i I9v>i 
AC-powered Colloid Kit: 12V power 
supply, silver wires, reprint, including 
priority mail shipment. S37 (#82 i 
Four Small Booklets Combo: Super 
Organic Food: a nil lion dol br new i n d u s- 
try: Schools in 2020: another S tril- 
lion industry. Anthrax, a simple cure. 
Dowsing: why and how it wotks. S3 (#86) 
My 1992 We The People Declare 
War! On Our Lous) Government 
book — 360 pages and packed with 
ideas that" 11 get you all excited Was $ 1 3. 
While thev last $10. Just a few left, 
found in the warehouse. Last chance for 
this classic* #06) 

Stuff I didn't write, hut yo u need: 
NASA Mooned America: Rene 
makes an air-tight case that NASA 
faked the Moon landings. This book 
will convince even you. $30 (#90) 
Last Skeptic of Science: This is 
Renews book where he debunks a 
bunch of accepted scientific beliefs - 
such as the ice ages, the Earth being 
a magnet, the Moon causing the tides, 
etc. $30 (#9 1) 

Dark Moon: 56H pages of carefully 
researched proof dial the Apollo Moon 
landings were a hoax — a capping blow 
for Rene's skeptics, $25 (#92) 
1982 General Class License Study 
Guides. Teaches the fundamentals -l 
radio &. electricity. Was %1. I found a 
few in the warehouse, S3, while ihey 
last. Great book! (#83) 

Box 4Ifn Hancock NH 03449 





Use ine numbers in ihe bracket* or copy page and mark the book 

Order total: USS Ph^uarCtofdmj 

MCAlMforonfcncrtttSlfl # , 

you wa&L Add 53 *A\ per total 


ww* waynegnKltCOm • phone mien: 605-588-0107 - fax: 603-588-3205 - *2n>di?aol.coni 
U Ye*r Pw me down for a year of 73 lor only S25 <a *teal> Canada US&32 Foreign LSS44 by na- 
il I nerd some iihtuunal itrcngtb ttresa nsdifciwti to tend zne your Adventures Id Music CD catalog 
Allow A ttwki (or delivery except fnceajm. llviugh m uy to get nxwt orders shipped in j day or two, 
Vouf e-mail aJdn^i: 

73 Amateur Radio Today * March 2003 63 

Barter 'n' Buy 

Turn your old ham and computer gear into cash now. Sure, you can wait for a hamfest to try and dump it, but you know you'll get a far more 

realistic price if you have it out where 100,000 active ham potential buyers can see it, rather than the few hundred local hams who come by 

a flea market table. Check your attic, garage, cellar and closet shelves ands get cash for your ham and computer gear before it's too old to 

sell. You know you're not going to use it again, so why leave it for your widow to throw out? That stuff isn't getting any younger! 

The 73 Flea Market, Barter 1 n' Buy, costs you peanuts (almost) — comes to 35 cents a word for individual (noncommercial!) ads and $1 .00 

a word for commercial ads. Don't plan on telling a long story. Use abbreviations, cram it in. But be honest. There are plenty of hams who love 

to fix things, so if it doesn't work, say so. 

Make your list, count the words, including your call, address and phone number. Include a check or your credit card number and expiration. 

If you're placing a commercial ad, include an additional phone number, separate from your ad. 

This is a monthly magazine, not a daily newspaper so figure a couple months before the action starts: then be prepared. If you get too many 

calls, you priced it low. If you don't get many calls, too high. 

So get busy. Blow the dust off, check everything out r make sure it still works right and maybe you can help make a ham newcomer or retired 

old timer happy with that rig you're not using now. Or you might get busy on your computer and put together a list of small gear/parts to send 

to those interested? 

Send your ads and payment to: 73 Magazine^ Barter J n' Buy, 70 Hancock Rd. ? Peterborough NH 03458 and get set for the 
phone calls. The deadline for the May 2003 classified ad section is March 10 7 2003. 

220 MHz Award; see W9CYT on WWW.QRZ, 
COM for information, 8NB645 




250 pictures/prices. $12 postpaid. ARTIFAX 
BOOKS. Box 88, Maynard MA 01754- Telegraph 
Museum: [http://wltp,com], BNB113 

New miniature oscillator modules are now avail- 
able .., all under $20 ,«. plus our great reference 
book is still for sale. Write to RMT Engineer! ng h 
6863 Buffham Road, Seville OH 44273 or see 
our Web site at [ 
index.html/]. BNB640 

2SC1972, MRF247, MRF455. MB8719, 2SC1307, 
2SC2029, MRF454, 2SC3133. 4CX250B. 12DQ6, 
6KG6A, etc, WESTGATE, 1-800-213-4563. 


WITHOUT HANGUPS Johan N3RF. Send $1 .00 
RIES, P.O. Box 81, Washington DC 20044 USA. 


Cash for Collins: Buy any Collins Equipment. 
Leo KJ6HL Tel./FAX (310) 670-6969. [radiofeo®]. BNB425 

Browse our Web site and check out the 
"Monthly Special." TDL Technology, Inc. [www.]. BNB500 


Thomas Appleby (copyright 1967). Second print- 
ing available from JOHAN K.V. SVANHOLM 
RIES, RO. Box 81 f Washington DC 20044. Please 
send $25,00 donation with $5.00 for S&H. 


Ham Radio Repair, Quality workmanship, All 
Brands, Fast Service. Affordable Electronics, 
7110 E. Thomas Rd. s Scottsdale, AZ 85251. Call 
480-970-0963, or E-mail [HAM SERVICE® AOL. 
COM]. BNB427 

64 73 Amateur Radio Today * March 2003 

SATELLITE TV — Large selection of items at 
reasonable prices. We specialize in Big Dish 
TVRO C & Ku Band equipment Check us out at 
[]. BNB646 

HEATHKJT COMPANY ss selling photocopies of 
most Heathkit manuals. OnJy authorized source 

for copyright manuals. Phone: (616) 925-5899, 
8-4 ET. BN8964 

WANTED: USED ROTORS, controls, CD-44. 
Ham-M, 2, 3,4, T2X, or larger. Call C.A.T.S. : 
1 -800-3ROTORS BNB662 

Electricity, Magnetism, Gravity, The Big Bang. 
New explanation of basic forces of nature In this 91 - 
page book covering early scientific theories and ex- 
ploring latest controversial conclusions on their re- 
lationship to a unified field theory. To order, send 
check or money order for $16.95 to: American Sci- 
ence Innovations, P.O, Box 155, Cfarington OH 
43915. Web site for other products [http://www. 
asl_2000. com]. BNB1 00 

"box of batteries" for hundreds of dollars? Current 

regulated, AC powered, fully assembled with #12 
AWG silver electrodes. $74.50, Same, but DC pow- 
ered, $54.50. Add $2.50 shipping. Thomas Miller, 
216 East 10th St., Ashland OH 44805. Web ad- 
dress []. BNB342 

ANTENNA SCIENCE: Why do antennas radiate 
electromagnetic waves? Learn for yourself from 
this enlightening paper by MAX RESEARCH, 
Gain an understanding of the radiation mecha- 
nism of antennas] Written in a dear style for radio 
hobbyists, inquisitive amateurs and experimenters. 
$4.95 ... ppd. Order from MAX RESEARCH, RO. 
Box 1 306, East IMorthport NY 11731, 


WANTED: ANY MODEL Collins, working or not, 
including speakers, filters, options, 1 -piece or 
collection. Bob, 651-354-5345 days: 651-345- 
3600 eves, E-Mail: BNB661 

FREEH HAM Radio and other CD-Roms and 
Disk catalog, MOM l tt POP'S SOFTWARE, RO. 

Box 15QQ3-TH, Springhfll, FL 34604-0111, 1-352- 
688-9103, visit 


[] BNB853 

topics. Up to 15% off; Quality Technical Books. 
[http://qtb.eom/hamr3dio/j. BNB665 

Neuer snv DIE 

continued from page 62 

grow out oT control, With around 24 bil- 
lion cells having to be replaced every 
day, an impaired immune system can 
miss trashing a few reproduction errors 
— and the result can be deadly. The only 
practical cure I see Tor cancer is to re- 
build one's immune system. This is the 
route promoted by Drs, Day, Comby, 
Bieler, me and a few others. 

So, as far as I can see, those expensive 
so-called Rife frequency generators are 
just one more alternative health fraud. 


I lucked into a wonderful book at one 
those New Hampshire yard sales. Ifs 
Write From the Start by Donald Graves, a 
1 985 paperback. One of the best quarters 
I've ever spent. 

The idea is to encourage young chil- 
dren to start writing. Give 'em a pencil 
and paper and sec what happens. Young? 
Many kids get started writing at three or 
four, even before they've learned to read, 
and they love it. A group of teachers at 
some New Hampshire schools let their 
children write about anything they 
wanted, and never mind marks for spell- 
ing, grammar or punctuation — or any- 
thing else. They're encouraged to dojt 
because it's fun. 

Alinco Delivers HF Adventure! 

Allnco's HF Transceivers Deliver Incredible Performance at a Tiny Price 

You Ye only a few hundred dollars away from 3 brand new Alinco HF Transceiver That's right! Just a few hundred dollars gets you on the air 

with a big 10Q-watt signal, great audio and an easy-to-operate package that's perfect for base, portable or mobile operations. The Alinco 

DX-70 and OX-77 make it easy for everyone to enjoy HF with a dependable transceiver that s backed by Alinco's 1 year warranty. 

The world of HF is calling. What are you waiting for? 

Alinco DX-70TH Base/Mobile/Portable 
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Continuous coverage HF receiver 
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Speech compressor 

Great CW rig, full QSK, semi 
or automatic break-in 

* Standard narrow filter fights QRM 
on SSB, CW or AM 

• Two VFO's and easy "split" operation 

* Removable face for remote mounting, 

• Rrr / txh, if shift 

• Multi function control for easy operation 

Alinco DX-77T Desktop HF Transceiver 

• 100 watts SSB, FM & CW, 40 watts AM 

• General coverage receiver 
150 KHz - 30 MHz 

• Two VFO's; easy "split" operation 

• Standard speech processor 

• Front panel speaker provides loud, 
clear audio 

• Built-in electronic keyer 6 ~ 60 wpm 

• Full QSK, 7-step semi break-In or auto break-in 

Enhanced Direct 
Digital Synthesis 
(DDS) eliminates 
need for SSB Narrow 

Front panel connections for mic, key, speaker 
& phones 



* EDX-2 automatic wire antenna tuner 
» EMS-14 desktop microphone 

* DM-330 MVT switching power supply 

* DM-340 MVT regulated power supply 

iron Horse Mobile HF antennas for Alinco and other HF transceivers 

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